This review for the Netflix sitcom series The Upshaws season 2 contains no spoilers.
Netflix sitcom The Upshawscreated by Regina Y. Hicks (HBO’s Insecure) and comedian Wanda Sykes, returns to the streaming platform for a second season this summer, ready for viewers to watch at will. The show continues to follow the wacky misadventures of the titular Upshaw family in a standard sitcom format, complete with its own canned laugh track and tired, retro setting. This situational comedy may seem extremely dated at first glance and offers nothing new to the genre, but offers a harmless and feisty scoop of unconventional family life for subscribers.
The series centers on the gang’s goofy but charming father, Bennie (Mike Epps), who works as a mechanic in his own garage. Bennie struggles to juggle his hectic family life and struggling business, while constantly trying to reconcile with his wife Regina. The show is mostly divided between his feuds at the family home and his “time outs” with the boys at work. Each episode places our family in very embarrassing and absurd situations which, as you can predict, don’t always end well.
This complex family is made up of Bennie’s four children (from two mothers): Kelvin, Aaliyah, Maya, and Bernard Jr., as well as the ubiquitous Aunt Lucretia (played by co-creator Wanda Sykes), who despises Bennie. The show hinges on the chemistry between these actors in this dysfunctional family setup, as they try to get through each day with as little calamity as possible. But of course, there are plenty of shenanigans for the Upshaws to endure.
The first episode kicks off slowly and steadily when a nine-year-old girl named Sydney comes knocking in search of her biological father. However, the series picks up speed from the second episode, with Bennie and Regina’s relationship being tested to its limits and the garage fearing a surprise inspection at any moment. There are also plenty of slapstick and visual gags, including a pet lizard on the loose, as Regina takes her all-important GMAT exam and Bennie’s prized car is vandalized in a memorable sequence. These humorous and sometimes surprising transgressions result in amusing and light-hearted television snippets. It may be a familiar and heartwarming comedy, but there’s nothing wrong with it after all.
The sympathetic fools in the garage allow for more nonsense and a few jokes in the workplace. Bennie works with Duck, an ex-con who has now found God, and Tony, a cowardly employee who perpetually fears his girlfriend’s wrath. These juvenile pranksters seem to do little work and instead spend their days berating themselves or getting themselves into increasingly awkward situations. It’s not the funniest show, but the humor grows as you get to know the cast of characters more closely.
It would be easy enough to criticize this show, with its tired aesthetic and generic comedy, but The Upshaws manages to move past all of these clichés and instead works on its own terms. This show doesn’t try to be anything other than what it is, there are no gimmicks or hot social motives to explore. It’s like comfort food, familiar and safe, but quite addictive.
What did you think of the Netflix sitcom series The Upshaws season 2? Comments below.
You can watch this series with a Netflix subscription.
The Upshaws Season 2 review – a familiar, heartwarming comedy with a heart of gold appeared first on Ready Steady Cut.