Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > TV Talk
Reload this Page >

The Tracy Morgan Show-Taping Review

TV Talk Talk about Shows on TV

The Tracy Morgan Show-Taping Review

Old 09-20-03, 10:26 AM
  #1  
Cool New Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: San Diego/Riverside
Posts: 23
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The Tracy Morgan Show-Taping Review

As a fan of Morgan's on SNL, I decided to check out the taping for this mid-season show. If anybody is curious, this is a basic outline of the show, the taping, and the 'verdict' on the show's life expectancy.
There are, obviously, SPOILERS...but it is not 'Friends' so they should not ruin the show.
Also, please note that scenes are shot and re-written a few times, so what ends up in the final draft is unknown to me.

After being seated, they played a 'teaser' for the show..and I got worried. It had some jokes, but was kind of 'soft'. Yes, this WAS truly a preview of things to come...

Anyway,

The premise is Tracy, as a well-meaning , working-man trying to raise his kids and how he behaves as a husband, father, and co-worker. The cast is rounded out by his wife,played by Tamala Jones (Recently seen in "Head of State", and a very nice person.), his two sons played by Marc John Jefferies and newcomer Bobb’e J. Thompson. I believe the are aged at 13 and 7 or 8.

At work, he deals with John Witherspoon and Katt Williams of the 'Friday' Legacy and Heavy D. He works at a garage/tow facility.

The audience was warmed up by a very funny comedian whose name sadly escapes me. I generally HATE these guys as it gets old after about your 100th taping.

But..

I was in stitches and uttered a prophetic phrase to my buddy..
"I hope the show is as funny as the emcee...."
It wasn't.

The show itself dealt with Tracy giving his sons haircuts in the shower (Don't ask..), and how the 13 year old wanted to move on to a barber. To Tracy , the haircut is a bonding thing, but the son gets Mom to take him for a haircut.

The sub-plots:

Tracy agrees to take the 13 year old to seea Kung-Fu movie rated R, thinking a little violence won't be too bad. Instead, there is graphic sex shown, placing Tracy in a position that is not favorable to his wife.
He is flabbergasted himself, commenting that "When Bruce Lee saved the village, he just got a bowl of rice!"

The other sub-plots are at the garage, where a new Tow truck has been obtained and Heavy D thinks it will be a great tool to pick up women. (???)

Lastly, depending on what is cut, there is a TINY bit of joke/plot involving Katt Williams and his anger at Bobby Brown for 'stealing' the idea for his fade and making it a trend. This sets up the last major joke of the show, and could be the saving grace.

As for the taping, I will get the comedian's name...as he was great..although he struggled with being censored. I'd pay to see this guy unrestricted. There was a LOT of downtime because the ep was directed by the legendary Kevin Bright...you should know his creds, and as a Television Direction student, I was THRILLED to watch the man work 10 feet away.

The problem?
He is STRICT, and a severe PERFECTIONIST...which, when combined with an unknown show, restless audience, and unsure star is lethal.

The writers earned the ol' paychecks that night, as nearly half of the script was re-written on the spot for a second or third time.

Also, Tracy was NOT the guy I have seen do stand-up or on SNL...hair gone, and Cosby-ized. He had trouble with his lines, but that could be because he is in a new arena, or that being yelled at, not allowed to improve, etc. just freaked him out. For most shows, I'd pick Bright as a Helmer, but maybe this one needs a hipper, ethnic director??

The taping was painfully long, but there were moments...
First, during a LONG writing huddle, Witherspoon came out to the audience and started doing all of his lines from Friday 1-3, killing people with laughter. He then climbed the railing and got right in the with the audience and kept it up....I love the Friday films, so this was HUGE to me, and shows what a down to earth guy 'Spoon is. Also, the Producer of the show,Jim O’Doherty (“3rd Rock from the Sun”), was very open, informative and nice. For him, I hope the show ends up a hit.

This show is a tough one to judge. I can only list the Strengths and Weaknesses. I am hoping as I see more tapings of the show, it 'loosens up' as the characters find the right groove and the writers figure out who Morgan is and let him loose.

Weaknesses
--------------------
The family bits with the perfect wife and wise-cracking kids just fell flat. I didn't buy it, and the lack of chemistry was noticable. Also, even though he makes some mistakes, Tracy comes across as 'whipped' a bit and the show does NOT play up to his potential.
He IS NOT a "Generic Black Guy".

The writing seemed like they didn't even bother to do any read-throughs.

For a Pilot episode, this is one weak showcase.

Everyone is funnier than Tracy!!! To make it worse, Tracy WAS trying to improv a bit and it WAS funny, but got shot-down!

Strengths
------------------

The cast. I don't like kid actors, but these kids are whipping out one liners during BREAKS! Hats off!

Witherspoon and Katt Williams steal the show. This could shore it up while Tracy grows. It could be a great ensemble.

Strong NBC support. All the Brass were there...I think this will end up being pretty good once the dust settles.

Without explaing the whole joke, be on the look out for the show to see Katt Williams new hairstyle....one side sleek and long, the other strong and Black, bringing two cultures together on one head...

The "Half-Fro". (Shown off with a hand dividing the face in a fluid motion, recalling Sean Haye's Jack Mcfarland on Will & Grace).

Also, the ending of the father-son bonding story and nudity storyline at the zoo, where Tracy takes hi son to see the monkeys...well, THAT joke is a little raunchy, funny, and more 'Classic' SNL Morgan.
Old 09-21-03, 12:26 AM
  #2  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Lighten up, Francis! (Funland)
Posts: 26,856
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
so he has a new prime-time special or did this have to do with the Comedy Central show that was on the other night?
Old 09-21-03, 06:04 AM
  #3  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Posts: 14,020
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It is a mid season replacement that was supposed to have been greenlit for the start of the season, but it never made it. Morgan was one of my favorites on SNL, so I am looking forward to seeing him back on TV again...
Old 09-21-03, 11:28 AM
  #4  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 5,610
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This wasn't a pilot episode taping. 2 weeks ago David Schwimmer was directing an episode. Yes, I'm serious.
Old 09-21-03, 12:48 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Charlie Goose's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Sesame Street (the apt. next to Bob's)
Posts: 20,199
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: The Tracy Morgan Show-Taping Review

Originally posted by Degreaser
The premise is Tracy, as a well-meaning , working-man trying to raise his kids and how he behaves as a husband, father, and co-worker.
Hey, I've never seen this premise used before!

I liked Morgan on SNL, so I'm willing to check it out. Sorry, I can't stand Witherspoon though.

Honk!

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.