Next week is the final two episodes of MARLON and I can hardly wait. This week’s episodes are just as insufferable as last week’s minus the misogyny. I don’t need to see the misadventures of a man child in a sitcom week to week when I have a daily reminder of it almost every 30 minutes from Twitter, newspapers and the daily news.
This week’s first episode titled “Hospital Party” sees Zack Wayne (Amir O’Neil) getting ready for a minor surgery on a bone infection. With Marlon wanting to make the most out the trip while Ashley (Essence Atkins) wants it low key so Zack can be well rested. We can all see where this is going with the various hijinks and with the stay at the hospital extended due to Zack’s white blood cell count low, we can all see how Marlon is rarely a good parent.
It’s now clearly illustrated why Ashley divorced Marlon. I can’t believe a man this childish manages to pay his bills or dress properly. Halfway through the episode even proves Ashley’s point in that Zack was getting sick from all the junk food Marlon has been feeding him. But what makes it worse is that writer Regina Hicks decides to take things a step further with Marlon throwing a literal party in Zack’s hospital room complete with other patients dancing as well as a full-blown DJ.
Look sitcoms always take things to the next level but what hospital would allow this. It’s not funny and makes me hate Marlon even more as no hospital in America would let a DJ play “Hollywood Swinging” by Kool & the Gang play at ignorant levels (look we all know this is a classic track made to be played at ignorant levels but c’mon).
We all know this is just Marlon trying to cope with being scared for his son. But, they still manage to take this a step further than it needs to go with Marlon running and screaming around the hospital corridor as his son is wheeled away into surgery. It gets so over the top that he cradles his teenage daughter Marley (Notlim Taylor) and going into the surgery room to wheel out his son with all hospital staff chasing him complete with Marlon riding the bed back into the surgery room. When you do a comedy this broad and stupid, it makes an already unfunny joke painful. Even more so when it goes on for five minutes.
Stevie (Diallo Riddle) has been a cheapskate for the entire show so far and none of it has been funny. Especially after last week where we learn he has inherited a small fortune from his grandma but refuses to spend it until he hit what he considers rock bottom despite the fact he has gone beyond rock bottom. This week he steals hospital supplies because parking is forty-two dollars and he wants to make the money back. The only people who steal from a hospital are junkies. It is not funny and it is not endearing. Stevie has provided absolutely nothing in terms of character or storytelling save for one throw away B-plot last week. I’m literally wondering what the point of his character is.
The next episode pushes things even further. “Coach Marlon” sees Marlon taking over Zack’s basketball team for them to be more aggressive and more “street” in order for them to win games. While this is going on Ashley takes Marlon’s house key away from him after he decides to spend the night at her place.
Ashley trying to set boundaries was correct. If you’re divorced, you don’t spend the night at your ex-wife’s house without her permission. This type of trope is usually used in thrillers and horrors films when the husband is still in “love”. Teaching kids to scuff up your ex’s floor or to have your “friend” being nut-tapped by the basketball team is to me ground to move forward with a restraining order. Ashely taking away Marlon’s house key was the right call and one that should’ve lasted. The canned laughter as Marlon and the kids smack Stevie in the balls was disturbing, to say the least. I and many of my friends stopped nut tapping each other sophomore year of high school.
The kids even quit mid-game as they’re not into Marlon’s way of playing basketball especially the trash talking. He forgets that these are little kids. This shouldn’t be too surprising as he’s barely a functioning adult himself. Yet, in typical sitcom fashion, he manages to make the boys come together and only lose by one point and get Ashley to give him the house key back.
I’m glad that we finally got explore why Marlon and Ashley got divorced. Marlon never listens to her and is too immature for his own good. We also got to see how he positively impacts his son’s life as well as negatively. I’m not sure what’s trying to be achieved with this show but with the final two episodes next week, hopefully, we get some sort of semblance of that. I highly doubt it though.
Season 1, Episode 7-8 (S01E07-08)
Marlon airs Wednesdays at 9PM on NBC
A lifelong film enthusiast since he can remember, Brandon is an indie filmmaker/screenwriter and freelance critic who resides in Trenton, NJ. Feel free to hit him up on Twitter to talk movies, shows, and music (especially hip-hop).
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Brandon Norwood | Contributor