It’s been almost four years since a Walmart truck crashed into Tracy Morgan’s limo bus on the New Jersey Turnpike, and his recovery since has been a process. So, naturally, news of an upcoming comedy series with him as the lead was not only heartening to hear, but viscerally exciting for any fan of Morgan’s work.
Produced by Jordan Peele and starring Tiffany Haddish, the narrative premise of The Last O.G. has Morgan’s character finishing a 15-year bid and returning to his neighborhood in Brooklyn—only to find it utterly gentrified, evolved, and unrecognizable. The trailer shows that Morgan's character quickly realizes that he not only does he have a lot to learn in terms of the new social norms in nouveau-Brooklyn, but also has to deal with the fact that his partner has moved on and taken control of her own life during his incarceration.
While the themes here are fairly serious and touch on a lot of grim, real-life issues, the joke-writing and performances by Morgan and Haddish definitely make it look funny and entertaining enough to warrant a watch when it premieres on TBS on April 3rd.
The funniest moment of the trailer has Morgan’s character trying to be the wise O.G. to the youngins he sees posted up in front of a high school. Not only are they merely waiting for a ride to brunch, but they shock Morgan’s character with the unexpected flamboyance. This definitely seems more family-friendly than the team-up of Morgan and Haddish might suggest, but just because a show has heart and appears genuine about its values doesn’t mean it’s corny. Rehabilitating back into a society (with no help from the government whatsoever) that doesn’t even look like the one you left, only for everyone you loved to have moved on, is not only serious, but common. It’s good to see a show deal with these issues, and deal with them the only way some of us can—through laughter.
But don’t get it twisted: Morgan’s character in The Last O.G. is still very much the crude, shouty dude you know and love from his stand-up specials, 30 Rock, and, well, reality. From the few scenes in this trailer, though, it looks like Tracy Morgan is eager to offer us more, and imbue a show that could easily be a joke-fest with a real sense of humanity. One thing’s for sure—we’re glad Tracy Morgan made it, and we can’t wait to give his new work a chance.