I don’t mind revealing my age by admitting that Martin was the funniest show on television when I was a teenager. In fact, Martin re-runs still crack me up and I often find myself wishing that some lost un-seen episodes would surface. Who knows if Martin can ever replicate the humor of that show, but his new sitcom deal with CBS gives me a glimmer of hope.
In his new show, Martin Lawrence will play a 46-year-old, recently-widowed father of two teenaged girls who loses his job in construction and decides to enter the police academy…at his age. The premise sounds like a little bit of Bad Boys cop comedy with some “how do I relate to my daughters” standard sitcomedy thrown in. But can Martin ever be as funny as he used to be?
I don’t know why Jerome, Shenehneh, and Ol’ Otis never got old to me, and even Martin’s way of interacting with his old cast, which is impossible to re-create, was fantastic (if you ignore that awkward season after Tisha Campbell accused him of sexual harassment and things got kind of weird). But as much as I think the old Shenehneh is hilarious, the idea of her revival alongside Wanda in Skank Robbers makes me queasy, and let’s not forget the whole Big Momma franchise, what with Lawrence recently receiving a Razzie Award nomination for Worst Actress in Big Mommas: Like Father Like Son. A sitcom pilot is a whole different type of comedy, but with so much hit or miss material in recent years can Martin redeem himself with this new show?