“The Mayor,” a new ABC sitcom centered around a young upstart rapper who runs for mayor as a publicity stunt, premiered Tuesday, Oct. 3.
“The Mayor” mingles comedy with racial undertones when a young black rapper defeats a middle-aged white career politician after appealing to popular passions, vowing to clean the city’s ghettos his opponent has neglected.
The main character, Courtney Rose, played by Juilliard graduate Brandon Micheal Hall, begins his mayoral term in the same nonchalant manner he led his rap career.
Rose soon realizes, however, that there are massive consequences of his actions which are felt by the whole community.
Rose’s mother, Dina Rose, played by Yvette Nicole Brown, helps him realize the impact of his actions and teaches him to take responsibility as a newly-elected politician.
With the help of his two best friends, T.K. Cilfton and Jermaine Leforge, played by Marcel Spears and Bernard David Jones respectively, Rose navigates the treacherous territory of local government.
Valentina Barella, played by Lea Michele, acted as campaign manager for the losing mayoral candidate, but quickly changed sides once the polls had been tallied.
Barella is the Leslie Knope of “The Mayor,” living by her index cards and business casual attire, but sticks by Rose once she realizes his intention to generate true change in their community.
Coming from an impoverished California city, Rose’s campaign approach was to appeal to the lower class citizens and enact change in the neighborhoods he knows best. His first project is to clean up the “City Commons,” a local park riddled with garbage.
With relatability and practicality, Rose acts as a fictional take on Chicago’s own musician-turned-activist, Chance the Rapper. Growing up on the south side of Chicago, Chance realized soon after hitting it big in the music industry that his influence could enact real change for the black community.
Rose comes to the same understanding. When he begins his new career with one damning mistake, his mother scolds him into the realization that his actions stand for a whole community and race under scrutiny.
The show’s creator, Jeremy Bronson, has written for “The Mindy Project,” “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” and ABC’s “Speechless.”
Executive producers include Daveed Diggs, star of ABC’s hit show “Black-ish” and the originator of the roles of Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton: An American Musical.”
“Black-ish,” another politically-fueled sitcom, highlights the concept of a black family facing the challenges and prejudices associated with their race and features Daveed Diggs as a free-spirited liberal.
“The Mayor” presents itself as an urban comedy, and its racial undertones hint at a season filled with political activism mirroring the activism happening in the real world.
Abby Brone is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.