THE MAYOR: Welcome to Fort Grey, California
Greetings from fictional Fort Grey, home of one of the youngest mayors in the country: Courtney Rose. ABC’s new series, The Mayor, premiered last night and introduced us to a group of young people who suddenly have the power to make a difference in their community. Join Cara, Roz, and Melissa as we talk first impressions and hopeful politics.
The show was in development prior to the 2016 election, but it almost seems to be in answer to the election results. How do you feel about the show’s theme and tone in our current political and civil climate?
Roz: I might not like how celebrities have turned to politics (I’ve lived through Arnold as my governor and watched Jesse Ventura as a governor too), but Courtney seems to care about the city and what is problematic for the town in a way that feels more genuine than the 2016 election.
Cara: The show is drawing on our current climate and the election, but to agree with Roz, there’s a sincerity amidst the jokes that shows us Courtney and his staff really care.
Melissa: The tone struck me as incredibly hopeful, which is a breath of fresh air. I think the show might tap into the feeling that we need to get more involved on a local level to improve our communities, which might not have been the feeling if the election had swung the other direction.
Young rapper Courtney ran for mayor as a publicity stunt. Then he won, besting a bunch of adults and career politicians. What do you think of the show’s premise as a comedic setup?
Roz: If he found a way for people to vote in a city election, I’ll take the growing pains of having to adjust to affecting change. He seemed so shocked at the win that I think the show will have room to grow and develop.
Cara: Like most shows, the set up feels a little contrived, but that’s a challenge every pilot faces. However, it worked, and the show was funny, so I have high hopes.
Melissa: Agreed, it feels a little contrived – did anyone think he wasn’t going to win? – but there’s an earnestness and hopefulness that makes it work. As long as the comedy stays smart and doesn’t devolve into farce, I also have high hopes.
What made you laugh? What didn’t?
Roz: The line about calling bull on the work being done in the Commons make me giggle. Also Fire!
Cara: For me, I started to laugh when Courtney noted that the kid in the parks list of favorite rappers was “problematic.” I like a good joke that manages social commentary workout being heavy-handed.
Melissa: The list of rappers joke was a good one. I mean, Courtney’s pretty young to be making a “kids these days” joke, which made it even funnier. Nothing fell flat for me in the pilot, which is a good sign.
How well did this pilot introduce the characters? What are your initial impressions of the ensemble?
Roz: I love so many of the actors (YNB!) and the chemistry between everyone seems real.
Cara: I’m with Roz. YNB is always great, and I like this role for her. I love T.K. and Jermaine too. I agree that the chemistry is working.
Melissa: The chemistry between the characters is perfect! I especially like the mother-son relationship between Dina and Courtney (another vote for YNB!). T.K. and Jermaine are surprisingly well-developed characters already, and I think Lea Michele is perfect in her role.
Will you keep watching?
Roz: Yeah. I think YNB is going to be my hero.
Cara: Yes, I liked it, and am looking forward to more.
Melissa: Definitely. This might be my favorite new show of the season.
The Mayor airs Tuesdays at 9:30/8:30c on ABC.