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Thoughts On Debut Of Chris Rock-Produced 'Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell'?

Television
by Tambay A. Obenson
August 13, 2012 11:36 AM
15 Comments
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It premiered on FX last week Thursday night, at 11pm, and aired at least two more times afterward, so I hope a lot of you got a chance to check it out.

First announced in March, the FX network greenlit a new weekly half-hour late night series, exec-produced by Chris Rock, starring standup comedian W. Kamau Bell, in which he'll dissect politics, pop culture, race, religion, the media and sex.

The network ordered 6 episodes of the series, titled Totally Biased with W. Kamau BellChris Rock will only be involved behind the scenes; although, as Mr Bell told me in my interview with him, don't be surprised if Chris does a cameo appearance every now and then.

And Chris certainly did appear in the very first episode last week, as a guest. 

Overall, I wasn't immediately sucked into it, but I'm going to continue watching to see how it develops. I'll attribute my initial lack of enthusiasm for what I saw to first show jitters, and hope it evolves and improves over time, otherwise.

It's much less Chocolate News (which I've read some others compare it to), and looks to be gunning for The Daily Show with John Stewart. It excels most when Kamau does his stand-up routine, commenting on current issues from Gabby Douglas (and criticism of her hair), to the Sikh temple shooting, and more; but his man-on-the-street segment, asking black men in NYC about Stop-and-Frisk wasn't as entertaining as I think was intended. I'm not sure if Kamau is a natural as a host/interviewer, as was demonstrated in those segments, as well as in the last segment of the show, during which his special guest, Chris Rock, dominated, so much that you would've thought it was the Chris Rock show. 

But, as I said, it might just be a case of getting comfy with the mileu - the opportunity to have his talents showcased on a much grander stage. And if those man-on-street segments are to be a staple of the show, I hope successive episodes are funnier. Or maybe he should get someone else to run that particular segment, not-so-unlike John Stewart does on The Daily Show, with his army of correspondents. 

All that said, it's great to see a black man with his own show on late night TV, and I encourage you to check it out for yourselves; you might instantly take to it a lot more than I did.

But I'll continue watching. 

Interestingly, the series is set to tape each episode the day of broadcast.

If you have seen the premiere episode, what did you think?

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15 Comments

  • JD | June 12, 2013 2:00 AMReply

    Absolute trash. I despise this show.

  • Phil Collins | May 20, 2013 12:02 AMReply

    W. Kamau Bell sucks

  • Heywood | May 4, 2013 8:40 PMReply

    The worst show on television....a steaming pile of manure from a smug arrogant doofus who has nothing to be arrogant about

  • Baptiste | January 18, 2013 8:30 AMReply

    Best thing that could happen to this show is a handful of incendiary grenades.

  • Disugusted | September 9, 2012 11:12 AMReply

    This show is not funny. It is another attempt by the liberals to brainwash the younger, naive generation, by using political satire, to paint the political right as "evil". When will people start realizing that shows like this, the daily show, colbert report, etc. are dumbing down an entire generation of Americans. Most of you who will disagree with this post will consider me racist or hateful for my comment which, just shows how brainwashed you really are.

  • Fudgy | September 18, 2012 3:16 PM

    Yes, shows like Totally Biased and The Daily Show are "dumbing down an entire generation of Americans." Spot on assessment. People should just stick to the Right Wing talking points, right? Feeding the younger generation truth and biting sarcasm are going to turn them into drones, unlike the forward thinking, open-minded geniuses who follow the likes of the great Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck. btw, love the new spelling on "disgusted." You're a maverick!

  • artbizzy | September 9, 2012 11:33 AM

    You spelled your name wrong.

  • Unimpressed | August 16, 2012 11:20 PMReply

    Seemed like rambling liberal brainwashing, typical of Rock and Maddow. General hate speech for any view point other than their own. Just race race race.

  • Baptiste | January 18, 2013 8:31 AM

    you must be one of the writers for the show,no wonder your comment is lame.

  • ChgoSista | August 13, 2012 11:43 PMReply

    He definitely had "first show jitters" because when he was here in Chicago this past June for the TBS "Just for Laughs Festival," he was, to use a slightly old school term, "off the chain." He was very quick, quick-WITTED, engaging, funny, in control, interactive with the audience--all that. I'm gonna hang in there with him...

  • Baptiste | January 18, 2013 8:32 AM

    quick witted for a reh-TARD.

  • Rel | August 13, 2012 11:12 PMReply

    I thought it was dope

  • ChocolateOrchid | August 13, 2012 10:34 PMReply

    I enjoyed it. Thought it was great comedic commentary. I figured it would be something like that, hense it's title "Totally Biased". And I'm curious to see if the following episodes will stick to that format.
    Definitely want to see more.

  • jeni | August 13, 2012 4:48 PMReply

    It was well-written, mostly intelligent, a little more political than I expected.

  • main | August 13, 2012 2:28 PMReply

    I thought it was funny and awesome

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