The Bottom Line
- Potential for family-sitcom warmth from 'Everybody Hates Chris' co-creator Ali LeRoi
- Keesha Sharp amusing as self-centered best-friend character Gigi
- Cardboard plots with little insight or humor
- Characters who seem to have no emotional connection
- Weak jokes and flat dialogue
- Premieres June 2, 2010, at 9 p.m. EST on TBS
- Starring Terry Crews, Essence Atkins, Teala Dunn, Coy Stewart, Christian Finnegan, Keesha Sharp
- Developed by Ali LeRoi
Guide Review - 'Are We There Yet?' Premiere Episodes
So it’s pretty much the same set-up as any number of family comedies, and after just a few episodes the whole idea of the family adapting kind of goes out the window anyway, as the kids just start calling Nick “dad,” and the family deals with contrived situations that could be swapped out of any other sitcom. Given that the show was developed by Ali LeRoi, who co-created Everybody Hates Chris, and stars Terry Crews, who played the dad on Chris, it’s surprising how little warmth and emotion comes through. Nick and Suzanne barely seem like people who even know each other, let alone love each other and are newly married. The characters talk past each other without ever connecting, and the jokes are based in crude misunderstandings.
Crude is a good word to describe almost everything about this show, from its flat visual style to its cheap-looking sets to its slapdash plotting. So many of these actors can do and have done better, from Crews on Chris to Christian Finnegan (as Nick’s best friend) on various VH1 commentary shows to producer (and source-movies star) Ice Cube, who sloppily chews scenery in a recurring role as Suzanne’s menacing brother.
The only bright spot in the cast is Keesha Sharp, who plays a completely stock character (Suzanne’s man-hungry, gold-digging best friend), but does it with a sense of glee and absurdity that the rest of the show lacks. No doubt the budget here is lower than on something like Everybody Hates Chris, but that’s no reason why the writing and acting should be just as chintzy. Done well, family sitcoms can be both comforting and entertaining. Despite its creator’s past record, Are We There Yet? is neither.