The Ms. Pat Show

I first came across Ms. Pat while watching This is Not Happening and heard her story about "life saving titties," and I cried laughing. Since then, I've been a fan, and I'm probably not her target audience, but I love her. As someone from Indiana, it feels good to steal her from Atlanta, it hasn't felt this way since we stole The Colts. Somebody else loves her, because after years of putting in work, The Ms. Pat Show got the green light and she began starring in her own self-titled sitcom.

The show follows Ms. Pat, playing a mostly accurate version of herself. Make sure to read her autobiography. She's just moved to Plainfield, Indiana with her husband Terry who has taken a new job. Pat struggles to adjust to the her new life in Indiana, but feels it's better for her younger children Janelle and Junebug. Terry is a good man according to literally everyone on the show, he works hard, doesn't put hands on his family and cares about people, but he's also struggling with depression the same way his father did, and hasn't let the family in on it. Denise, is Pat's sister who can't seem to keep a job or remember her keys and grates everyone's nerves, but generally tries to do what's best. Brandon is Pat's second child from her prior abusive relationship. He lives in the basement and is pursuing epsorts as a career. Janelle is Pat's oldest child with Terry. She's very smart and even Pro-Blacker. Junebug, is the youngest, and smarter than people give him credit for, but also doesn't seem to know who he is yet. Lastly is Ashley, Pat's oldest child, a therapist and is mostly seen through video chat. There's also a cast of side characters that drop in. The principal who happens to be a swinger, Junebug's friend Ryan and his mother Elizabeth who initially hates Pat, Jesse is Janelle's nonbinary friend and that causes some hijinx. Side characters don't get a lot of time, but the time is used well to make them important to the show.

I don't know if this is a complaint or not, because I understand why it's done; the lessons, can be a little heavy handed. It's not really different than The Bernie Mac show. I think the difference is the lessons we're getting here can be a lot heavier. We watch as Ms. Pat deals with her own homophobia after learning her oldest daughter Ashley is a lesbian. We see Terry struggle with depression and the shame that Black people, especially Black men have been conditioned to feel. But again, it's not necessarily a complaint, because I understand the importance of passing these messages on. 

But don't get me wrong, the show is still super funny. There's an episode called "Ladies Night," where Pat catches Terry watching porn and she's hurt, she feels he doesn't love her. Denise believes it's okay for a man in a relationship to watch porn as long as it isn't tickle porn or illegal porn. The kids start t believe their parents are divorcing. Everything goes off the rails when the ladies hit a night club called Sanctuary which brings Terry down.

I'm from Indiana, so I have to breakdown the depiction of Indiana. Yeah, The PTA runs those coupon rings hard. I get hit every year at a constant because I live near three schools. We do not let white people say the N word. I don't know what Junebug was thinking, but they're from Georgia. Wouldn't fly here. Every city outside of Indianapolis is not entirely white, Plainfield, would have maybe three other Black families. It's really just a lot of warehouses, churches, hotels and empty parks that border the airport. Don't be mad at me if you're from Plainfield, you know what your town is.

There's nothing exceptionally groundbreaking in this series, but it's a return to form. Don't get me wrong, there are still Black sitcoms, like Black-ish, The Charmichael Show, and Black-Af, but these only view a very specific kind of Black people. Upper middle class or just plain wealthy. I should say Black American, because Chewing Gum doesn't fit the mold, and it is very British. Anyway, The Ms. Pat show looks at a legit, middle class family. They aren't struggling to keep the lights on, this isn't Good Times, but they aren't driving foreign luxury cars and don't have shoe collections worth nearly $100,000. Everyone has to work, but none of it is a career that's played as some Hollywood Black Excellence nonsense. The most absurd thing is that Brandon wants to make a career in E-Sports at his big age, and he's pretty good at it. There's comedy, there's drama, but it also doesn't forget that most Black Americans, Americans in general are not doctors, TV Producers, executives, lawyers etc. I feel like we've got this idea that sitcom families need to be filthy rich or dirt poor. As far as I know, The Upshaws is currently the only other African American sitcom where the family isn't stacking that paper. Funny enough, it also takes place in Indiana. Indiana, home of the working class Black people. I joke, but I actually love shows that take place in Indiana, except Parks and Recreation.

It's a quick watch, the show is funny and occasionally gives you something to think about. As far as I'm concerned, that's a thumbs up. We need more shows that know thirty minutes is enough to get the point across as well as a few laughs about tiny condoms. Honestly, it might just be that the show is wholesome. Don't get me wrong, the words people don't like to hear fly around at light speed, but they almost always come back together at the end. 

You can check out some of my short stories at 12 AM Fiction or if you like vampires follow my web serial Exsanguinate and of course hear me on the Powerbomb Jutsu podcast if you enjoy pro wrestling.

The Ms. Pat Show The Ms. Pat Show Reviewed by Darrell S. on Friday, September 17, 2021 Rating: 5

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