|Tiffany Haddish & Tracy Morgan|
By Mwabi Kaira
One thing people that do time wish for is a pause button. They want to come home from their bid and find things as they left them. In the new TBS sitcom The Last O.G. Tray (Tracy Morgan) is a Brooklyn hustler who gets busted for on-the corner activities that sends him away to prison for 15 years. The night he gets busted, he and his girl Shay (Tiffany Haddish) are cuddled on the couch watching Kelly Clarkson about to win American Idol. Shay laying on his chest and the laughter and jokes they share right when she is about to tell him something are not a strong enough pull to keep Tray from the corner when summoned. Shay begs him not to go but he does. She watches him get arrested from her window.
|Tracy Morgan is The Last O.G.|
Tray becomes a favorite chef in prison and the other inmates are sad to see him and his recipes go when he is released. He has changed his ways and wants to be a mentor and steer young men from the life that led him to prison. He returns to his Brooklyn neighborhood expecting to find it just as he left it and is in for many surprises. Gentrification has not only changed the neighborhood landscape but has also brought a whole different set of people to it. Shay now goes by Shannon and is a successful fundraiser and married to someone new who happens to be white. Tray learns that she has twins now too that are his.
Tracy Morgan is from a housing project in Bedford-Stuyvesant and had peers who ended up incarcerated for doing desperate things. He liked the idea of someone returning from prison and feeling like everything, the good, the bad, and the ugly, had been sort of paved over.
“I’ve been thinking about this show for eight years,” Morgan says. He pitched the idea to Jordan Peele while recovering from the horrific 2014 accident that almost killed him and the show was born.
|Gentrification is real in the Last O.G.|
I watched the show with my sons and we all laughed. I caught the early 2000 references and they found the show current enough to keep their attention. Gentrification has been happening for a long time and we have watched and talked about it, but The Last O.G. shows it through fresh eyes of someone who returns to find it done. Tray has to navigate his way back into life and his neighborhood. Cedric The Entertainer is another comedy heavyweight that rounds out the cast.
The Last O.G. brought the laughs in its first episode and is off to a fantastic start. I’m excited to see the remaining 9 episodes. The show airs on TBS on Tuesdays at 10.30 PM.