TELEVISION

MR. BOX OFFICE

Ugh, there’s nothing good on TV during the weekends. I’ve heard of this show, and just stopped on it today. I know it’s produced by Bryon Allen, as a companion show to that other horrible sitcom he’s making, THE FIRST FAMILY. And much like that show, it has a decent cast. These people can act, but the material here is just so bad. Bill Bellamy stars as Marcus Jackson, an A-list movie star who got into some kind of fight with a paparazzi, and so a judge sentenced Marcus to becoming a High School teacher in South Central Los Angeles.

Now how the heck is that supposed to work? How can force someone, by law, to be a school teacher? What if the school said we don’t want him? What about some other actual school teacher who needs the job, but can’t get it because some movie star took it? Okay, nevermind, I’ll let that slide. It’s certainly not the most unrealistic premise for a sitcom that I’ve ever seen.

Marcus lives in a mansion with two guys who are his entourage, Tony (Tony T. Roberts) and Jamal (Alex Thomas), a couple of goofballs who just live off of Marcus and come up with Get Rich Quick schemes to live off of his fame. Jon Lovitz plays Marcus’ agent Bobby, who tries to find ways to keep Marcus in the spotlight and making money. Vivica A. Fox also stars as one of the other school teachers at the High School, is constantly coming on to Marcus, despite his rejections. Why is Marcus rejecting a woman has hot as Vivica Fox? Beats me. That’s never made clear. He just doesn’t want her.

This particular episode I saw had a plot where Bobby got Marcus a $20 million offer to star in some sci-fi comedy film. But Marcus turns down the role because he thinks it sounds stupid, and he actually prefers teaching now. So Bobby comes up with a plan to convince Marcus that he’s going broke, telling him that his accountants are being investigated for money laundering, so all of Marcus’ assets are being frozen. Bobby even hires an actor (Oliver Muirhead) to play an I.R.S. agent who visits Marcus and gives him a fake notice of an audit. Somehow, this ploy works, and Marcus really thinks he’s in trouble, while Bobby keeps pressing him to take the movie deal, since that paycheck would solve his financial problems. Meanwhile, worried that their meal ticket is getting cut off, Tony and Jamal come up with a scheme to sell their special tacos at the school, for only 25 cents each. The teaching staff loves the tacos, and buy a bunch of them, because they’re so cheap. But after eating them, they all get upset stomachs and have to rush to the bathroom, but all the toilet paper is gone. And that reveals Tony and Jamal’s real scheme, which is selling rolls of toilet paper for $20 each.

It was at THAT point that I turned it off. I just couldn’t watch any more of that garbage. What a waste of film this show is. And it’s so sad because, as I said, there are some good actors on the show. I liked Bill Bellamy in How To Be A Player, The Brothers, and Love Jones, plus his stand-up comedy. Vivica Fox is great, too, and Jon Lovitz is a funny guy. Plus this show has Tim Meadows as the school principle, and Rick Fox as the P.E. Teacher. All of these people CAN act, so I hate to see them stuck on this crappy ass show. I mean, I know that options aren’t always that full for actors, especially Black actors, in Hollywood, so sometimes you have to take what you can get, but this is pathetic. Even with the weak premise, I think there’s potential in it. But it’s like they’re not even trying to make a good show. The writers of this show (the credits of this episode list Josh Goldstein as the writer) need to be fired. I did some quick Google research and found out that this show, like The First Family, got one of those special syndication deals, like Charlie Sheen’s Anger Management (which also sucks), where it’s guaranteed at least 100 episodes. Maybe that’s the problem? Since everyone involved with creating this show know they’ve got a guaranteed order, and thus a paycheck, and therefor don’t have to worry about ratings, they just put in the minimal effort involved to make each episode. Flimsy plots, going for broad cheap laughs, with an accompanying laugh track, it’s just bad.

Chacebook rating: ZERO stars

Mr. Box Office airs in syndication.

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