The Upshaws season 2 review – famous and comforting comedy with a heart of gold
The sitcom layout is tired and outdated, and the comedy will not leave you in hysteria, but this program grows on you – comforting and easy-going, easy to watch.
This review of the Netflix sitcom series The Upshaws Season 2 does not contain spoilers.
Netflix sitcom Upshawscreated by Regina Y. Hicks (HBO’s Unsafe) and comedian Wanda Sykes, return to the streaming platform for another season this summer, ready for viewers to overlook at will. The show continues to follow the farcical accidents of the titular Upshaw family in a standard sitcom format, complete with its own canned laugh track and a weary retro set. This situation comedy may seem extremely dated at first glance and offers nothing new for the genre, but provides a harmless and lively scoop of unconventional family life that subscribers can enjoy.
The series is about the clumsy but charming father of the gang, Bennie (Mike Epps), who works as a mechanic in his own garage. Bennie struggles to juggle his hectic family life and failing business, while constantly trying to reconcile with his on-again, off-again-wife Regina. The show is mainly divided between his quarrel at home with the family and “downtime” with the boys at work. Each episode finds our family in very embarrassing and absurd situations, which, as you can predict, do not always end so well.
This complex family consists of Bennie’s four children (from two mothers): Kelvin, Aaliyah, Maya and Bernard Jr., as well as the ever-present aunt Lucretia (played by co-creator Wanda Sykes), who despises Bennie. The show depends on the chemistry between these cast in this dysfunctional family setting, while trying to get through each day with as little misfortune as possible. But of course there are plenty of insults for the Upshaws to endure.
Episode one gets things started slowly and steadily when a nine-year-old named Sydney comes and knocks and looks for his birth father. However, the show picks up the pace from the second episode onwards, with Bennie and Regina’s relationship being tested to their limits and the garage fearing a surprise inspection at any time. There are plenty of slapstick and visual gags as well, including a pet lizard on the loose, while Regina takes her important GMAT exam and Benny’s precious car is vandalized in a memorable sequence. These humorous and sometimes surprising violations provide some entertaining and light-hearted excerpts from television. It may be a familiar and comforting comedy, but after all, there is nothing wrong with it.
The sympathetic fools in the garage allow for further absurdity and a little small talk in the workplace. Bennie works with Duck, a former convict who has now found God, and Tony, a cowardly employee who forever fears his girlfriend’s anger. These young jokers seem to do little work and instead spend their days scolding each other or finding themselves in ever-difficult situations. It’s not the funniest show there is, but the humor grows on you as you get to know the characters better.
It would be quite easy to criticize this show, with its tired aesthetics and generic comedy, however Upshaws manages to surpass all these clichés and works on its own terms instead. This show tries not to be anything more than what it is, there are no gimmicks or burning social motives to explore. It’s like comfort food, familiar and safe, but quite addictive.
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You can watch this series with a subscription to Netflix.