Humpday Hate: ‘Love’ is Such a Strong Word.

There are few people  who would disagree that Martin is one of the greatest sitcoms of all time.  Another squarely solid favorite is Will Smith‘s The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. So, it would make sense that someone would figure a show from Martin Lawrence and starring a Fresh Prince alum to have at least some comedic potential.  Those people, however, are sorely mistaken and stupid.

See, here’s the problem with Love That Girl!, the recently debuted, Martin Lawrence-produced show starring Tatyana Ali (little Ashley from Fresh Prince):  it sucks donkey balls.  Like, it’s bad.  It’s just really, really bad.  It’s so bad I can’t think of a metaphor bad enough to illlustrate how bad it is.  I’ve been trying to pinpoint why this is exactly, and I’ve come up with some viable reasons.

#1 – It just isn’t fucking funny. It’s like lame stand-up comedy.  The jokes aren’t funny.  Tatyana Ali’s character, who, by the way, is about as interesting/exciting as a box of socks, does nothing but tell jokes with no punchline.  Example:  “I asked the waiter if he was from Receeda… because his hairline started way  back here!! *points to the center of head*”

That was an actual joke from the actual show.  Yeah.  They’re all like that.

#2 – I can’t care about Tatyana or her character. Remember back when I said that Tatyana’s character (creatively named Tyana, by the way) is about as interesting/exciting as a box of socks?  Unfortunately, that goes for Tatyana herself as well.  It’s not that she isn’t a good actress, because I mean, I guess she does okay, but to play lead?  In a sitcom, at that?  Bold.  Too bold.  She doesn’t have the comedic timing or general all-around chops for it.  In Fresh Prince? Hillary (Karyn Parsons) was the funny daughter.   Ashley was good, but she was background, and I think that’s what’s wrong with this show.  She does a better job of helping other people be funny.

#3 – Even in “post-racial,” black president havin’ America, the stereotypes are too much. Okay, first let me say that I’m not one of those uptight, Debbie Downer, can’t-take-a-joke-or-laugh-at-uncomfortable-things type of people.  Example:  remember when KFC’s grilled chicken first came out, and they had that commercial full of people talking about it and randomly two Asian guys dressed in like kimonos and rising sun bandanas come out of nowhere talkin’ bout’ ‘CHEEKEEEEEENNN!!’??  Remember that?  I LOVED those guys!!  They were so cute!  There was a time when I’d have been pissed about it, but perhaps I, like 73% of the rest of America, have had my militancy softened by the sexy 6 foot 1 inch symbol of change in the White House*, so I can relax and not trip about potentially racist shit.  But this?

On the left are characters Fabian and Adonis, who are pretty much white and Mexican versions of “Men on Film” from In Living Color.  On the right is Imunique, who is pretty much Laquita, Sheneneh’s homegirl from Martin.  Now, Laquita and Men on Film were  hilarious!  Why isn’t Imunique??  I truly don’t know.  I just know that she makes me want to write a letter of apology to my ancestors.  And Fabian?  Adonis?  Way too much and trying too hard.

This show is about as funny as the last season of Martin when Tisha Campbell refused to be on the set as the same time as Martin.  It just falls flat on its face and, like Martin at its end, is better off canceled.  Poor Martin.  What gives??  Why is he just not funny anymore?!  Maybe he’s  suffering from Mary J. Blige syndrome–God bless her for being clean now, but Mary’s best music came from her doin’-drugs-with-K Ci period.  Maybe Martin needs to run down a highway in his draws with a gun again to get his groove back?

In conclusion, maybe they just need to change the title.  It’s misleading.  How about Barely Tolerating That Girl? Or Want to Like That Girl But Finding It Quite Difficult? Or how about simply WTF?

Watch some clips from the show and get to know the cast, if you must, here (not recommended for those with weak constitutions).

*Sarcasm.  America is still pretty racist.  Obama is mighty fine, though.

Brokey McPoverty

Brokey McPoverty, aka Tracy Clayton, is a writer and humorist from Louisville, KY. She currently writes for BuzzFeed and lives in Brooklyn. Follow her on Twitter.

Latest posts by Brokey McPoverty (see all)

  • Truer words were never spoken. I attempted to watch the debut. It took me three attempts. I was confused. Why do people randomly dance in and out of the scenes? WDDDA? Why is the older brother a free-loading layabout with aspirations of being a comedian? Why is the father the anti-Uncle Phil? Why are the two gay neighbors everywhere (snapping and shrieking)? It was as if somebody opened the Big Book of Stereotypes and injected them all into the same badly written show. But because I was DETERMINED to try and support a “black show” I tried again thinking surely it wasn’t as bad as I remembered. It wasn’t… it was worse. FAIL. And two half hours of my life I can never get back. :-\

  • Um…what if Martin just hired you to write for the show? Can we arrange that? Someone? Anyone?

    • omg i’d love to. i know just how to save it too:

      step 1 – fire everybody. actors and writers.

      step 2 – make the show about a cynical, hateriffic girl with glasses named Brok… er, Schmokey SchmcSchmoverty

      step 3 – step back, stack dollars. lather, rinse, repeat.

  • Or maybe…dare I say it…maybe Martin was never actually that funny. Perhaps I only remember it being that funny because it was one of my favorite shows when I was in middle school. I used to love “Family Matters”, and when I try to watch re-runs now I wonder how my tiny brain could have ever been entertained. Maybe jokes about Tommy’s job and Bruh-Man from the Fifth Floor just weren’t that great.

    Wait a minute…what am I saying?! “Forever Sheneneh” is still one of my favorite moments in television history. Any time I think of Eartha Kitt I think of Shenehneh saying “You don’t know Eartha, like I know Eartha…”

    As long as it isn’t as bad as “Meet the Browns”…

    • really?? i think the first few seasons of ‘Martin’ were genuinely funny. i watch re-runs now and they still strike me as funny as they did in the 90s, and not for nostalgia’s sake; for a show made in the 90s, i don’t think the humor is so dated that it’s lost when viewing it today. Martin’s stand-up? i have the same reaction, watching it and saying ‘wow, i laughed til i cried at this?’

      but the show? the Chilligan’s Island ‘that ain’t no damn puppy, Gina?!’ episode??! gets me every single time.

  • Beth

    Huh? “Martin” sucked. Martin Lawrence has never been particularly funny in anything he’s done.

    • i am agog and aghast. i have literally never heard anyone say that about Martin before, either the person or the show. and now ive just heard/read it twice! i’m intrigued!!

      • LaJane Galt

        make it 3x. I hated that show with a passion. Now funny…the PJs. THAT was funny.

  • I wasn’t allowed to watch Martin (or the Simpsons, my mother was an equal opportunity television censor). I’ve seen a few episodes and they were kinda funny, but Martin Lawrence has never struck me as more than an average comedian.

    The sheer horribleness (that may not be a real word but it’s the only way to describe my feelings on this) of this show makes me think that it’s a conspiracy to keep black folks off television by letting it fail and saying “see, nobody can relate to black characters!” when the truth is really that nobody can relate to flat characters propped up by egregious stereotypes.

  • Lisa

    Umm, Marty-Mar was ahhight, but the best sitcom ever? Uh no. Not even the best black sitcom ever. I mean Sanford and Son, the Jeffersons, even Cosby were all much much funnier. Haven’t seen this other show and have no intention to do so.

  • Gotta jump in with the Martin haters. Some of the episodes were lifted straight from I Love Lucy, just ‘blackened’ up a bit. Wasn’t a sitcom that broke any new ground or was laugh out loud funny like the shows Lisa mentioned.

    I’ve never heard of or seen of this new show “Love that Girl.”

  • aisha

    Wow Martin Lawerence wasn’t funny? Now I have to say that I am not big comedy person especially ones with exaggerated characters. I found the show funny at times I just know it’s not really my genre. I’ve never heard people say he wasn’t funny. I just know comedy isn’t my thing. I liked him in Bad Boys.

    Do you people also not like Jim Carey or Will Farrell? I feel like they all make (made in Jim’s case) the same kind of comedy.

    • April

      I’m not a Martin Lawrence fan either. I never found him very funny, and he just seems annoying to me. (His fallout with Tisha Campbell only confirmed for me that something with him was off.) Not a Will Ferrell fan, either, though I do like Jim Carrey.