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ABC’s The Mayor Might Be the Feel-Good Do-Something Political Show We Need


We’re in the middle of Upfronts season, which means we’re getting glimpses at all the shows networks have planned for the fall season, in what is unsurprisingly turning out to be their (by and large) white male glory.

The ubiquity of the white male lead/possible woman/POC sidekick dynamic definitely makes the trailer for ABC’s The Mayor stand out. But in a sea of typically terrible pilot trailers (did someone say Magician Spies?), this show’s obvious potential for being genuinely good makes it stick in your brain.

The Mayor–which is produced, by the way, by Hamilton star and Mary Sue favorite Daveed Diggs–centers on a young struggling rapper named Courtney Rose (Brandon Micheal Hall) who, as a gimmicky publicity stunt, decided to run for mayor of his California town. Cut to the chase–he wins. The official synopsis describes his battle as having to “overcome his hubris if he wants to transform the struggling city he loves.”

The show, at the very least, has a great trailer that has 100% hooked me into keeping an eye out for its premiere. (It also stars Lea Michele and Community’s Yvette Nicole Brown.) Hopefully, it will live up to its potential, because so many things about it ring all too true. We as a nation are becoming more outspoken by the day, but given that much of our criticism comes from behind phone keypads and computer screens, the notion of suddenly being forced to make good on your calls for change is a relevant one.

Speaking of relevant, the idea that someone can run for office as a joke and win isn’t far-fetched. In Los Angeles, where I live, there was a city-wide election earlier this week. You know how many people showed up? 8.4% of registered voters. The election included city council and school board races, as well as a hotly contested ballot measure designed to loosen disciplinary actions against police officers. That measure passed, by the way.

For all our political talk, how many of us show up when it counts? And local elections do count. Calling your representatives counts. These things matter. As hopeless as we feel much of the time, it’s important to remember that there are things we can do. We can run for office, yes, but we can also pay attention not just to Trump’s Twitter rants or possible threats to national security, but to what’s happening right in front of us, at ground level.

I know that living up to all of that is a probably unreasonable burden to place on a television pilot. But then again, that’s the subject matter they chose, and it’s important, especially right now. So, The Mayor, we have our eyes on you.

(image: YouTube)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.