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Can The Soul Man survive? – Clacking in Color

Somebody better give TV Land its props! 'The Soul Man' is hilarious! However, can Cedric and company survive? In this week's 'Clacking in Color,' writer Jaylen Christie offers up his opinion. Let's get soulful!

The Soul Man - Clacking in Color

Ladies and gentlemen, I would just like to say that cable On-Demand has changed my life. Being a relatively busy person, I don’t usually have a lot of free time to watch shows when they originally air. That makes me a bit of a loser, right? Don’t answer that. Anyway, now — after realizing that it’s 2012 — I can watch my favorite programs whenever I want … which is exactly what I did with TV Land’s new sitcom The Soul Man.

Okay, so first of all, I’ve got to give it to the network — ten points for creating a show featuring people of color. I mean, that’s fantastic! While I’m at it, here’s another ten points for putting together such a formidable cast. Executive producer Sean Hayes, of Will & Grace fame, has just been doing the damn thing, hasn’t he? A spin-off of Hot in Cleveland (one of my favorite sitcoms), The Soul Man really brought a smile to my face. It’s like cotton candy — not much to it, but fun to eat. I enjoyed the sitcom’s first two episodes. It’s kind of corny and campy, but in a good way. Let me explain.

The sitcom follows the life of Reverend Boyce Ballentine, played by funny man Cedric the Entertainer, a former raunchy R&B singer who has now seen the light … and I’m not talking about the bulbs made by General Electric! He now leads a church full of colorful characters … as if there were a church without any. As Boyce struggles to keep the congregation uplifted, he has to also deal with the demands of his family … especially his feisty wife played by the hilarious Niecy Nash, whom I think is super funny and super attractive. Hilarity ensues. All of that is nice and dandy, but here’s the question lingering in the back of my mind — will the show survive?

Look, I’m not trying to be negative, but well, some shows that feature such casts of darker complexions tend to end before they’ve found their footing. Let’s take a look back, shall we? Do these shows ring a bell? Sherri? Abby? Eve? Cuts? Wanda at Large? Half & Half? All of Us? Um, yeah …

I don’t think these shows ending have anything to do with their respective networks really, although some may argue otherwise. I think that maybe the audience — the ones that the shows are generally aimed towards — just weren’t interested. Bad writing, perhaps? I don’t know. Guys, I beg and beg for networks to give us more sitcoms and dramas with colorful casts, so I am beyond ecstatic that TV Land has offered us one. However, at the same time, I just hope it doesn’t get canceled. To that end, watch the damn show!

I certainly think that Cedric and Nash have the skills to keep audiences glued to the screen. The way that Nash delivers a line is downright hilarious. Plus, the sitcom kind of gives off a vibe of shows from yesteryear. I like that. The same can pretty much be said for all of TV Land’s original programming. Perchance it would be wise to stay optimistic. With Tyler Perry dominating TBS with his brand of over-the-top urban programming, it comes as a bit of fresh air that TV Land is offering something else. This is good.

I’m excited to see where this leads and I’m happy to know that I have something else to watch on Wednesday nights at 10. Check your local listings! Trust me. You’ll like the show … at least I hope you will. I’m not a psychic, you know.

Nevertheless, it looks like hump day just became a little more soulful.


Photo Credit: TV Land

Categories: | Clacking in Color | Columns | General |

13 Responses to “Can The Soul Man survive? – Clacking in Color”

July 4, 2012 at 10:45 PM

Didn’t know this show was on so I’ll be following your lead and watching it On-Demand and withhold any comments until after viewing. Since you posed this as something not done by Tyler Perry, it gives hope.

July 5, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Your comment made me laugh. Yes, let’s breath a sigh of relief that the show isn’t done by Tyler Perry. LOL Otto, check out The Soul Man and then let me know what you think. I like it. :-)

July 5, 2012 at 8:57 AM

I caught this show last night and I got a kick out of it. It does have that ‘old time’ sitcom vibe like the rest of TV land. You could see the plot coming at you..but Cedric and Niecy were enjoyable. I had a good time spotting some actors that I had really liked on other shows doing their thing here. The one thing I kept thinking with Niecy though was..”would a Reverend’s wife really wear something that showed so much of her boobs?”

July 5, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Toni, I was wondering THE SAME EXACT THING about Niecy Nash!! I mean, the sister looks great, but if you’re the first lady of a church, you can’t show all of your boobs like that! LOL I guess the character is still getting adjusted to having a pastor as a husband. I’m glad you’re watching the show!

August 5, 2012 at 9:10 AM

that’s the thing about the show bro.. I can almost guarantee the media is trying to sway people from the Church with this show. they mock Church all day . the wife acts like a slut. they get drunk . so does the 16 year old daughter. a woman sells sex toys to the women of the Church and they are portrayed as black.. oh yeah ced you struck gold with this one. just ruin the generation why don’t ya .. evil shit needs to be banned

July 5, 2012 at 11:22 AM

I’ll probably catch it On-Demand. The pair-up of Niecy and Cedric is interesting, but it doesn’t sound bad at all. I love Niecy Nash. Loved her in Reno 911. And its nice to see an Original King of Comedy at work once again. Judging from the picture, the main cast looks good. What did the other girl play in? She looks familier…anyway, ANYTHING is better than Tyler Perry’s hot mess of a sitcom…my gosh, those shows are bad and I hear that there is another one in the works if it hasn’t already come out yet. Is this funny, people?: “I’m fine, so I’m finally here.” (Cue the laughter)and that’s an actual quote from the House of Payne, which is a pain to watch…sigh.

July 5, 2012 at 11:53 AM

I agree with you that it is nice to see Cedric at work again, and I do like Niecy Nash!! The other girl is actress Jazz Raycole. She played in an episode of Living Single, and was also the daughter of Angela Bassett in Waiting to Exhale. She was also the daughter in My Wife and Kids for the first season until she was replaced by Jennifer Nicole Freeman. And yes, anything is better than Tyler Perry’s TBS nonsense.

July 5, 2012 at 4:03 PM

I watched the show last night and I like it.

July 6, 2012 at 3:55 AM

Im watching it now and am not impressed with story line/acting….not funny…

An acting coach is needed ASAP!!!

July 10, 2012 at 12:11 AM

I disagree, Nicole. I think the acting is pretty decent. I’ll admit that some of the jokes are a bit forced, but hey — give it a chance! :-)

July 10, 2012 at 10:17 PM

Late to the game, but, here are my 2¢. The pilot was fine, accept for Boyce/Cedric looking up to talk yo God. That device was not used in the other 2 Eps. and should either not be used or sparingly. Niecy Nash *SIGH*, luved her since Reno 911 and hope the show goes for many seasons just for her. The show has some nice sit-com set ups (Boyce was famous, Niecy runs a


July 10, 2012 at 10:51 PM

For cable, its a good sit-com with a talented cast and a bases for future storylines. Cedric was a famous singer, Niecy (luved her since Reno 911) runs a beauty shop, young daughter adjusting to a new city. When 2 or 3 Eps are watched back2back On-Demand, the show plays better. And funnier. Not fall off the couch funny but cable sit-com funny. Which is O.K. and something to watch again.

July 11, 2012 at 9:18 AM

Agreed. It does work better when one watches multiple episodes back to back. Still, I like that old school sitcom vibe. I think the writers could work on the jokes a bit, but other than that, I’m loving it! I think Cedric and Niecy make a pretty good duo. I like that the writers gave Niecy’s character a hair salon. That should make for some snappy dialogue between her and her female customers. I also like the fact that they gave Wesley Jonathan’s character a bit more to do in the last episode. We could use a bit more character development, but we’ll see how it goes.

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