‘Boomerang’ Episodes 1 & 2 | TV Recap Coming Back Around

February 13, 2019
Jonathon Wilson 1
TV, TV Recaps
3.5

Summary

Boomerang uses its classic source material to tell a new, more modern story of rivalries and relationships, and thus far it seems to be working.

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3.5

Summary

Boomerang uses its classic source material to tell a new, more modern story of rivalries and relationships, and thus far it seems to be working.

This recap of Boomerang, which is based on the first two episodes, contains spoilers.


BET’s new half-hour dramedy Boomerang is a second-generation continuation of the same-named 1992 Eddie Murphy rom-com, which in today’s politically-correct media culture would have been devoured by critics and audiences alike. But the series’ co-creator and co-producer Lena Waithe obviously saw some meat on the film’s old-fashioned bones, and decided to check in on the fictional children of Murphy, Robin Givens and Halle Berry.

The apples don’t fall far from the tree, as it turns out. Simone (Tetona Jackson), the daughter of Berry’s Angela and Murphy’s notoriously commitment-phobic Marcus, is herself terrified of settling down. She has booty calls on speed dial, but they want more from her than she’s willing to give; so too does Bryson (Tequan Richmond), the son of Givens’s Jacqueline, whose affection for her she frequently exploits.

These two are ostensibly the main characters of Boomerang, but only just. By the end of the second episode, they’re joined by a quirky but undeniably likeable ensemble that includes Crystal (Brittany Inge), who works at Simone’s executive father’s ad agency; David (RJ Walker), a God-botherer who once dated her and can’t let it go; and the show’s two explicit comic-relief avatars, Tia (Lala Milan) and Ari (Leland Martin). I like the show much better when it includes the full quartet, and the second episode, which crams them all in the same room and brings their simmering jealousies to the boil, was much more engaging than the pilot.

Boomerang doesn’t seem a very plotted show – it’s relaxed and relies on chemistry between its characters, of which there’s an ample amount, and wherever it’s going it doesn’t seem to be heading there very quickly. But that’s mostly fine. The show’s strengths are in its character writing and it’s evocation of a world that feels both true to life and ripe for dramatics; if these people seem to have more longstanding rivalries and anxieties than seems reasonable, it’s only because watching them open up is really entertaining. It might have a fair few nods and winks to the film that inspired it, but otherwise it’s a thoroughly modern endeavour that thinks and speaks in a contemporary voice. Whatever Waithe has planned long-term remains to be seen, but thus far, and true to its title, I hope Boomerang keeps coming back around.

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