Review: 'The Last O.G.' Gets Off To A Wobbly Start, But Has Potential

Turner

Sydney Scott Apr, 03, 2018

After a 2014 collision left the comedian and actor in critical condition, Tracy Morgan is back in TBS’ latest comedy, The Last O.G., co-created and executive produced by Jordan Peele. 

The show stars Morgan as Tray, an ex-felon released from prison 15 years after being busted for selling crack.  When Tray returns to Brooklyn, he finds that his home has been gentrified by people who force-feed their children seaweed and love to spend money on overpriced coffee. 

Tiffany Haddish also stars as Tray’s ex and the mother of his twins, Shay. Shay is thriving, married to a white man named Josh (Ryan Gaul), and running her own non-profit. And, of course, Tray is hurt that his one-and-only didn’t wait for him and attempts to win her back at all costs. 

The Last O.G. is by no means perfect. Haddish, who was cast before her breakout role in Girls Trip is one-dimensional and subdued, something that could change as the series continues. The first minutes of the show’s premiere include cliché prison rape jokes and later takes aim at ideas of masculinity with transphobic humor.

Still, there are gems planted throughout and moments in Tray’s story that show his growth. 

Morgan gives a stellar performance, with the show seamlessly weaving gentrified Brooklyn into Tray’s life, showing how the ex-felon adapts to new things like Tinder with a hilarious profile photoshoot in one of the later episodes. 

The series also explores life post-prison and the obstacles many people face when they are released. For Tray, this is his opportunity to turn his life around, but he is thwarted at almost every turn by systems that leave ex-felons with little opportunity. In moments of humor and sharp clarity, the members of the halfway house where Tray lives, run by Miniard Mullins (Cedric the Entertainer), prove they have much to offer —like impeccable tailoring skills–but very little chance to put their knowledge and skills to use. 

But  isn’t the only star of the show. Allen Maldonado steals nearly every scene he’s in as quirky cousin Bobby, the ex-felon’s guide to life on the outside. And, Taylor Mosby, who plays Tray’s daughter, Amira, is able to stand on her own in every scene opposite Haddish and Morgan. 

The first six episodes of the series see The Last O.G. still trying to find its footing, but once it does, it has the potential to be the kind of gem viewers look forward to every week. 

The Last O.G. premiers Tuesday, April 3 at 10:30p.m. ET on TBS.