Brandon Micheal Hall is a rapper-turned-officeholder in "The Mayor," with...

Brandon Micheal Hall is a rapper-turned-officeholder in "The Mayor," with Lea Michele. Credit: ABC / Tony Rivetti


WHEN | WHERE Premieres Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. on ABC/7

WHAT IT’S ABOUT Courtney Rose (Brandon Micheal Hall, “Search Party”) is a 27-year-old rapper living at home with mom Dina (Yvette Nicole Brown, “Community”) when he hits on the idea of running for mayor of Fort Grey, the midsize California city he calls home. But why, asks Dina? “Why does anyone in our generation do anything?” he answers. “Attention.”  Short story shortened even more: He wins and hires his opponent’s campaign manager, Valentina Barella (Lea Michele) to help him run the city with his well-meaning and also clueless childhood pals,  Jermaine Leforge (Bernard David) and T.K. Clifton (Marcel Spears). Daveed Diggs (“Hamilton”) is one of the executive producers.

MY SAY “The Mayor” is a good idea with a good cast and a particularly good lead — in need of almost everything else.

Beginning with brakes: The pilot rushes through so much story in so little time that almost none of this (or them) sticks. How exactly did Courtney come up with the idea of running for mayor in the first place, and while we’re on the subject of Courtney, who is Courtney anyway? Is his music any good, or is he a would-be hustler in search of a would-be killer app — aka the mayor’s office? Back story matters — even in sitcoms — and viewers get almost nothing here.

While the pilot doesn’t tarry, it doesn’t much bother with logic either: Why (for example) hire the abrasive Valentina (who just lost an easy campaign for the other candidate)? Seems Courtney knows a lot more than she does, and certainly knows his constituents better.

“The Mayor” also promised some sugar from Diggs: He’ll write music for the series.  What little is here seems accomplished, but “little” is the operative word.

So . . . what happened? Hey, don’t look at me. I don’t have the answers.

  This show needs to slow down, take a breath, develop the characters and most of all, make certain Hall is on screen most of the time. He’s pure charisma. His show’s a pure muddle.

BOTTOM LINE  Too rushed, too unfunny, with hardly any music. At least Hall promises better times ahead.

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