January 7, 2013

Black and White: Two White House Sitcoms On TV

There have been a lot of ads and hype recently about the new NBC sitcom 1600 PENN, a family show set in the White House which debuts this Thursday night.  Starring BOOK OF MORMON's Josh Gad as the unruly son of a sitting president, it could be entertaining as Gad is a pretty inventive comedian. But the show already has some competition as it is actually the second White House sitcom to debut this television season.  And the other sitcom is somewhat more true to current history in that it features a black family in the White House.

THE FIRST FAMILY premiered last September as a syndicated show (it airs in NYC on MyNetwork TV) and I randomly saw an episode of it last week when flipping channels. The president has a rambunctious extended family which notably includes Jackee Harry as his wacky sister.  The show, however, seems to have been beamed in from the 1980s and, despite its unusual premise, is bland and unfunny. I'm amazed the show hasn't gotten more attention given the reflection of the Obama White House (though this fictional family hails from Detroit!) but then again, it is just not that good. We'll see if 1600 PENN can be any better.

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