KENAN (2021) - Season 1, Episode 1 "Pilot"
Kenan Thompson is one of my personal favorite cast members of Saturday Night Live, and Good Burger is one of my favorite films from my childhood. So when I heard that Kenan Thompson was finally getting his own series, aside from Kenan & Kel, I was enthusiastic to say the least. The end result is a family sitcom that needs some more time to grow, but the potential is clearly there with or without a laugh track.
To elaborate, that’s one thing I noticed after the cold open of KENAN; the jokes felt odd, and not because they were poorly written, but because as a traditional sitcom, the audience was missing. Without either real or fake laughs, this took some getting used to.
The show centers on Kenan Williams, a morning show host whose recent loss of his wife has started to make his once very popular show plummet in the ratings. As he attempts to sort out his issues privately, he is encouraged to do so on the air, which leads to professional humiliation as he slips on his words.
Kenan is perfectly fine in the title role, however he’s not doing a ton with what is there. However, that can be said for the entire cast as the script is hardly enough to gather a complete opinion on each character. The cast is supported by Don Johnson, fellow SNL cast member Chris Redd, Kimrie Lewis, Taylor Louderman, Dannah Lane, Dani Lane, and Fortune Feimster. Lots of talent to go around, but not enough solid material.
The show isn’t a flop however, as it does produce some amusing scenarios, even though they’re ones we’ve seen repeated in the past. There’s something just okay about the pilot episode, and that’s alright for now, but when the second episode comes around, let’s see some improvements where the script is concerned.