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'Let's Stay Together' Premiere Episode

About.com Rating 2 Star Rating
User Rating 3.5 Star Rating (3 Reviews)

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Let's Stay Together Photo courtesy of BET

The Bottom Line

Let’s Stay Together is a bland relationship comedy with thinly drawn characters and very little originality. Its characters -- an engaged couple, a married couple and a single woman -- go through the same romantic motions as those in many other sitcoms, and not in a particularly engaging way.

Pros

  • Likable in a bland way
  • Some potential for amusing developments

Cons

  • Tired relationship dynamics
  • Boring characters
  • Weak humor

Description

  • Premiere airs January 11, 2011, at 11 p.m. EST on BET
  • Stars Nadine Ellis, Bert Belasco, Joyful Drake, RonReaco Lee, Erica Hubbard
  • Created by Jacque Edmonds Cofer

Guide Review - 'Let's Stay Together' Premiere Episode

It’s nice to see BET entering into the scripted-comedies field, especially since broadcast networks remain unwilling to launch new sitcoms featuring African-American casts. But like the African-American-focused comedies on TBS, Let’s Stay Together is the blandest, most unadventurous kind of show that BET could have produced, and it’s a shame that the best the network’s audience is being offered is this forgettable leftover. Creator Jacque Edmonds Cofer, who worked on Living Single and Moesha, has assembled a likable cast but hasn’t given them much to do other than rehash tired old relationship dynamics. Even the show’s premise, with a group of friends/siblings featuring one married couple, one engaged couple and one single woman, is about as generic as it gets.

Erica Hubbard, who plays uninhibited single gal Kita, is the closest the show has to an exciting character, and the first episode features a sometimes-amusing subplot in which she becomes an impromptu lounge performer. When Kita goes from bad improvised lounge songs to 1970s-style black-empowerment spoken-word pieces, the show demonstrates brief signs of life beyond the confines of its basic premise. But that’s a fleeting moment amid the standard relationship traumas (one couple fights because the man reused the engagement ring he bought for another woman) and female-bonding exercises. At least the poetry bit is unique and hints at a show that doesn’t just trade black actors for white actors and have them perform essentially the same material.

Because for the most part, at least at the beginning, that’s what Let’s Stay Together is. It’s understandable that BET is being conservative with its first original sitcom, and if Together remains on the air for a while, it could have time to develop its unique side (or at least pave the way for more distinctive shows in the future). For now, it’s an inauspicious start to the new comedy initiative from BET.

Disclosure: A review screener was provided by the network. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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