Tiffany Haddish assembles a strong line-up of undersung comedians to put Netflix’s marketing might to good use in another outing of a worthwhile project.
Netflix’s Tiffany Haddish Presents They Ready Season 2 debuted on February 2, 2021.
The rise of Tiffany Haddish from Girls Trip to her own Netflix special with countless other film and TV projects in-between hasn’t exactly been low-key — and that’s kind of the problem. Haddish went from the nation’s new sweetheart to an ever-present irritant, a quintessential example of fame going to one’s head. Her stint as the host of the Kids Say the Darndest Things reboot was a particular turning point, a grating parade of self-aggrandizement. You had to wonder if we’d ever see the Tiffany Haddish we all fell in love with in the first place ever again.
Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready, on Netflix, was a counter to all that, a collection of short stand-up specials from Haddish’s favorite undersung comedians, all of them diverse and having toiled away in the industry for years without ever receiving a fraction of the limelight that she had. This project was her paying her success forwards, and it was very good. It also had the intended effect, so the prospect of Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready season 2 is a welcome one. Executive produced by Haddish herself, alongside Wanda Sykes and Page Hurwitz, this new collection introduces six comedians in a seven-episode season (the final one is a roundtable discussion hosted by Haddish), with a solid collection of comics delivering some of their best material to a (hopefully) new audience.
Godfrey, Erin Jackson, Tony Woods, Kimberly Clark, Barbara Carlyle, and Dean Edwards round out the roster this time. Filmed last year under Covid-19 restrictions, the pandemic makes for a frequent talking point, sometimes to a distracting extent. But meatier topics of race, racism, representation, politics, and performative wokeness are all brought up too, interspersed with a helping of personal backstories. These 15-20 minute sets are written and performed with the intention of making a first impression, after all, and they all do that well — Erin Jackson, in particular, stood out to me as a performer so seasoned it’s almost inconceivable I’d never heard of her until now.
It’s once again a sample buffet rather than the main course, then, and it’s hard not to wish for more of some of these acts. But that will, hopefully, come in time, and perhaps even on the strength of this collection. It’s a worthwhile use of Haddish’s considerable pull, and with any luck, we’ll be seeing some of these names with their own Netflix specials in the near future.