Back in the game: Lil Rel How­ery tries to move on in ‘Rel’

Albany Times Union - Sunday - - TU TV -

Lil Rel How­ery (“Get Out,” 2017) con­tin­ues the time­honored tra­di­tion of standup co­me­di­ans por­tray­ing a char­ac­ter loosely based on their own past ex­pe­ri­ences, in a new episode of “Rel,” air­ing Sun­day, Dec. 2, on Fox. How­ery looks to repli­cate the suc­cess of com­edy le­gends such as Tim Allen (“Home Im­prove­ment”), Ray Ro­mano (“Every­body Loves Ray­mond”), Bernie Mac (“The Bernie Mac Show”), Ellen De­generes (“Ellen”) and Jerry Se­in­feld (“Se­in­feld”), who all struck gold when they took their act to the small screen.

“Rel” cen­ters around the tit­u­lar char­ac­ter. He’s a nurse liv­ing and work­ing on Chicago’s West Side, and he’s forced to re­build his life af­ter he dis­cov­ers his wife is hav­ing an af­fair with his bar­ber. Adding in­sult to in­jury, Rel must also learn to be a long-dis­tance sin­gle fa­ther, as his wife takes their two chil­dren to Cleve­land with her when she leaves.

Deal­ing with the im­plo­sion of his mar­riage and the loss of his wife, chil­dren and bar­ber, Rel’s motto — “al­ways be­lieve in your­self and great things will come” — is put to the test. The laugh­ing­stock of his neigh­bor­hood, he finds that even some­thing as sim­ple as rid­ing the bus is now an un­pleas­ant ex­pe­ri­ence, as the lo­cal guys roast him re­lent­lessly. It is im­pos­si­ble to es­cape the re­minders of his wife’s in­dis­cre­tions.

Not ev­ery­one in the neigh­bor­hood is so mean-spir­ited, how­ever. Rel’s friends and fam­ily do their best to help him get back on track — and back on the dat­ing scene. There to guide him through the Windy City’s dat­ing pool are his younger brother, Nat (Jor­dan L. Jones, “Dis­jointed”), and his best friend, Brit­tany (Jes­sica ‘Jess Hi­lar­i­ous’ Moore, “Wild ‘n Out”).

Nat, re­cently re­leased from prison, means well and is oc­ca­sion­ally help­ful but is mostly a thorn in his brother’s side. On the flip side, Brit­tany is all help with her un­fil­tered opin­ions and views and does the best she can to get her bestie out of his rut, con­vince him to stop sulk­ing and move on.

Twenty-five years af­ter “The Sin­bad Show” de­buted on Fox, the leg­endary Sin­bad him­self re­turns to the net­work, this time in a sup­port­ing role.

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