Tracy Mor­gan, Tif­fany Had­dish bring chem­istry to 'Last O.G.'

South Florida Times - - NATION - By LYNN ELBER

LOS AN­GE­LES - TBS' “The Last O.G.,” star­ring Tracy Mor­gan as a man just out of prison and learn­ing his way around a changed world, also holds a les­son in com­edy chem­istry.

Mor­gan's Tray has it with “Girls Trip” star Tif­fany Had­dish, who plays the exflame who built a suc­cess­ful life and mar­riage in­stead of wait­ing out his 15-year sen­tence for deal­ing drugs.

There are sparks as well when Tray tries to men­tor his cousin, Bobby, played with free­wheel­ing glee by Allen Mal­don­ado, or trades coarse one-lin­ers with Cedric the En­ter­tainer as Mullins, a half­way house man­ager.

Mor­gan, who had a dif­fi­cult re­cov­ery from in­juries suf­fered in a 2014 high­way crash, gen­er­ously shares “The Last O.G.” (as in “orig­i­nal gangsta”) as a show­case for all, not one. The TBS com­edy de­buts 10:30 p.m. EDT Tues­day.

“Maybe I'm just a bet­ter man now since the ac­ci­dent,” the for­mer “Satur­day Night Live” player said dur­ing a Tele­vi­sion Crit­ics As­so­ci­a­tion Q&A. “I know it ain't about me. It's big­ger than me. I thank God for that.”

Cre­ated by Jor­dan Peele, the Os­car-win­ning “Get Out'' film­maker, and John Carcieri (''East­bound & Down''), “The Last O.G.” gives Mor­gan room to play the goofy bom­bast he per­fected in “30 Rock” and the yearn­ing of a man des­per­ate for an­other chance.

(There are ex­ple­tives, bleeped as ex­pected on ba­sic ca­ble, but also plenty of raunchy ref­er­ences to be heard, es­pe­cially in the back-and-forth be­tween Tray and Mullins.)

The re­turn­ing Tray finds his Brook­lyn neigh­bor­hood is gen­tri­fied, his cronies are gone or turned into le­git busi­ness­men and his adored Shay (Had­dish) is liv­ing the af­flu­ent dream with nice-guy hus­band Josh (Ryan Gaul) and teenage twins - which, do­ing the math, Tray fig­ures were fa­thered by him.

Tray doesn't want to claim the ti­tle of dad or up­end Shay's fam­ily, Mor­gan said. But he does want to be part of a parental trio and have a role in the lives of Amira (Tay­lor Mosby) and Shazad (Dante Hoagland).

“I could have come home and been a prob­lem in her (Shay's) life, but then I had to look at (her hus­band) and I had to look at my kids,” he said. “And I see they were in good hands. So that's what we also want to get across in the show, that it's about the ba­bies.”

And while the cast is pre­dom­i­nantly African-Amer­i­can (aside from Shay's white hus­band), the show is meant for all, Mor­gan said.

“This isn't a black show. This is a show about hu­man­ity. This is the show about sec­ond chances. This is a show about re­demp­tion,” he said. “Who are we to say oth­ers don't mat­ter?”

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