There is an infamous sketch by Eddie Murphy, in the classic stand-up Raw, where he explains that if you are starved of crackers and someone throws you one, you automatically think it’s ‘best damn cracker I ever had’. He then goes on to explain, once you have had it for a while you realise it’s ‘a regular ass cracker’. I am beginning to feel that Brothers With No Game is a regular ass cracker.
When the web series started, there was such a lack of programming that spoke directly to the young black demographic, that we welcomed it with open arms. The more you watch, the more you realise how clunky it can be. But in all fairness, this is probably their most coherent episode and they never lack ambition.
The premise of the episode is one of the ‘brothers’ goes on a date with a hard to please girl who happens to have a blog. The set up is that he is broke and she is expecting a lot. Hilarity ensues.
This is not an unfamiliar narrative and therefore would require above par writing skills to elevate it from being something you have seen before. This is the exact set of skills the BWNG team simply don’t have; the dialogue and exchanges were so cliché and heavy handed I found myself laughing at them not with them. The now common practice of ‘cringe humor’ is employed here, but the team surgically remove the ‘humor’ part of that phrase.
Where they still succeed is in their interactions among each other. The four protagonists are clearly friends who have a natural rapport with each other, hence their conversations among each other never feel forced. I suspect that very little of their exchanges are tightly scripted.
I am rooting for BWNG to succeed – I really am – but not as a novelty. I have seen enough up to this point to suggest that they have something interesting to say. I just hope they improve how they say it.