Help, I've Been Peak TV'd!

Peak TV Treasure: The Carmichael Show

Are you overwhelmed by how much television is available right now? Is life getting in the way of keeping up with the shows you wanna try out? We feel your tube-related pain. Here’s a handy feature that’ll help you locate the hidden gems in this era of Peak TV.

THE CARMICHAEL SHOW

NETWORK | NBC

CREATED BY | Jerrod Carmichael, Nicholas Stoller, Ari Katcher and Willie Hunter

NUMBER OF EPISODES | 19 over the first two seasons (six in Season 1, 13 in Season 2)

EPISODE LENGTH | 30 mins.

PREMISE | Stand-up comedian Jerrod Carmichael plays a heightened version of himself in this multi-camera sitcom, which revolves around the tight-knit Carmichael family. Though now living on his own with girlfriend Maxine (Greek‘s Amber Stevens West), he frequently finds himself back at his parents’ home, where everyone gets into heated discussions about current events and contemporary issues. Among those who make up Jerrod’s family: wise-cracking older brother Bobby (Lil Rel Howery), Bobby’s ex-wife Nekeisha (Tiffany Haddish) and extremely opinionated ‘rents Cynthia and Joe (played by Grey’s Anatomy‘s Loretta Devine and In Living Color‘s David Alan Grier).

Each episode predominantly takes place in the Carmichaels’ living room, with Jerrod and Maxine coming for a visit and bringing up whatever debate they were having earlier in the episode, which gives Joe and Cynthia an opportunity to chime in. Among the vast range of topics tackled during Seasons 1 and 2: Black Lives Matter, gentrification, Islamophobia, prayer in school, porn addiction and transgenderism. Two of the show’s most buzzed about episodes featured discussions about whether it’s still OK to recognize Bill Cosby (among other controversial celebs) for his talent after he was accused of 50+ counts of sexual assault, and in an episode that aired all the way back in May 2016 (which at this point feels like a lifetime ago), whether members of the family could support Donald Trump’s run for president.

WORTH YOUR TIME IF YOU ENJOY… | Norman Lear’s brand of comedy. In other words, a well made sitcom shot in front of a live studio audience that is just as likely to make you laugh as it is to make you think. The Carmichael Show is perhaps most similar to All in the Family in that the action is typically confined to the one living room set, and that “action” is merely a discussion amongst the show’s central characters. (For what it’s worth, the show would fit perfectly in a block featuring Mom, The Ranch and Lear’s One Day at a Time remake, fellow contemporary multi-cams with distinctive points of view that are never just looking for a cheap punchline.) If you appreciate Carmichael’s stand-up comedy, you’re bound to like what you see here.

YOU SHOULD PROBABLY ALSO KNOW… | You’re not always going to agree with the direction of the conversation amongst the Carmichaels, or Jerrod’s overall opinion on any given topic. Don’t be fooled: Though the discussions at hand tend to be quite progressive, the family is almost always divided on where they stand. Jerrod’s opinions, especially, tend to be more right-of-center (at least when compared to the über-liberal Maxine), taking after his father. In other words: This isn’t just a show catering to the left.

IS IT COMING BACK? | Yes. Season 3 (which will consist of 13 episodes) premieres Wednesday, May 31, at 9/8c.

WHERE CAN I WATCH IT? | All aired episodes are available to stream on Netflix and Hulu, and for sale through the iTunes store.

Get a taste of The Carmichael Show with this scene from its Cosby episode, then tell us if you plan to catch up ahead of the Season 3 premiere.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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14 Comments
  1. jp says:

    Love Love love this show. Been waiting on its return.

  2. flowerduh says:

    I like the old school feel of this show. The parents kinda remind me of my parents.

  3. Mark says:

    Love this show, has to be the best sitcom on the major networks. I love how they deal with social issue in a way without being preachy and still being funny, something Blackish fails at.

    • Ann says:

      Agreed. I feel Blackish has tried to become more relevant with topical issues like The Carmichael Show, but it fails by being unfunny and overly preachy. That has turned me off from the show. The Carmichael is far more superior with the writing and the balancing of the topic.

  4. Laruen says:

    Has to be the best Network Sitcom I’ve seen in a long time!

  5. Stacy says:

    I love this show’s modern-old school vibe with a topic of the week. Some episodes are more well balanced than others, but the humor is fresh. I watch it for the laughs, but I think this is a great show for families with teens. It’s definitely a conversation starter about what your opinion is and how you back it up.

  6. ScottJ says:

    Interesting comparisons. I loved All in the Family. But I can’t stand Mom, The Ranch, and the new One Day at a Time. Which possibly explains why I dislike The Carmichael Show intensely too. I found to be excruciatingly unfunny and far too preachy. I gave it three chances too – which is way more than I usually manage now.

  7. Char Coleman says:

    I just found out about this show, and I love it!

  8. Love the show, especially Cynthia and Joe Carmichael. The hiatus has been never ending and I was just binge watching seasons 1 and 2 to deal with withdrawal.
    .
    “Maxine! You can’t find an Amen but you have a God Bless You at the ready?” LMAO, Loretta is divine, and David Alan Grier is so much fun as the Carmichael family patriarch. Cynthia and Joe are my favorite characters.
    .
    Bobby’s reaaaalllly grown on me and Nekeisha always cracks me up. Maxine is the most annoying and I don’t really like Jerrod but he and Maxine make an interesting and compelling pair. They are the center of the show and they have a fun relationship and stimulating conversations. Can’t wait for the new season.

  9. Piers says:

    I’m overwhelmed by how much of what’s on is garbage. I tried Carmichael and found it too agenda driven and preachy. Pass

  10. JJ. says:

    I’ve really enjoyed this show and I’m glad there will be another season! I was worried it had been cancelled. Like some other commenters I like that the show deals with touchy issues in a way that is unique but not preachy. For example I thought the cosby episode was very well done

  11. Chloe says:

    Love this show, especially the parents!!

  12. E. D. Boddy says:

    There’s some preachiness, but more than one view gets to preach. And at least it’s not cheap shots and cliches.

  13. Refreshing to come in here & actually find positive comments about TCS & actual constructive criticism for Black-ish. The wet dream love for Black-ish *every* new episode on Twitter is fever-pitch. So I’ll state my reasons here why Black-ish is everything that TCS isn’t: Black-ish has an Archie Bunker bigot lead. But instead of having a level-headed Meathead/Gloria/(even) Edith, the rest of the cast kowtows to Dre. Black-ish has a cast & characters who are like Fresh Prince– a bunch of self-centered, sterile types who barely seem interested in interacting w/ each other. So it makes sense the high class set in its white tones & cold granite/marble/glass reflects its owners. Carmichael are down-to-Earth mac-&-cheese, while #Blackish is Vichyssoise. Now give me a job @tvline.