Rel S01 Movie Review
Rel S01 Movie Review Metadata
Fox kicks off the 2018-2019 TV season with Rel, one of the least funny shows in its broadcast history.
As a newly divorced father of two attempting to start a new life as a single man, the pilot episode introduces Rel (Lil Rel Howery) in an empty apartment where he is confiding with someone on the phone about his wife sleeping with his barber. The conversation and punchline as to who is on the other line elicits no laughs nor does the one note joke of Rel’s wife sleeping with the barber that permeates the first episode. Nat (Jordan L. Jones), freshly out of prison for dealing Ecstasy, jokes about Rel gaining his respect back by shanking someone, while Rel’s dad (Sinbad) is embarrassed to sit with him at church. Another character, who hopefully doesn’t appear in future episodes, tells Rel “If I was you, I would kill myself three days ago.” Hard to believe this is considered comedy.
The cast is rounded out with Rel’s best friend and Godmother to his kids, Brittany (Jessica ‘Jess Hilarious’ Moore). A subplot of Brittany wanting to set up Rel on a date also falls flat mostly because it causes a generally likable Rel to come off pious for not wanting to date a girl because she wears loose boots. If you can’t imagine boot circumference making for a funny subplot, imagine how unfunny it becomes when the joke is repeated nearly a dozen times.
After a breakout performance in Get Out, Lil Rel takes a giant step backwards in this abysmally unfunny “comedy” that is also written and executive-produced by Lil Rel. Add in a second role as the Pastor (a la Eddie Murphy in The Nutty Professor) and you start to wonder whether Fox thought that they needed to lock down Lil Rel before he found his way to cable or streaming giants Netflix or Hulu. In this case, Fox and network TV would have been lucky to let this one go to a higher bidder. It’s shows like Rel that help you understand why HBO, Netflix, Amazon, and others sweep the Emmy’s each year.