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Mr. Mayor Review – A lot of talent spinning their wheels

by Sean P. Aune | January 5, 2021January 5, 2021 8:30 am EST

When you assemble a team of all-star talent you expect an all-star show, but sometimes you end up with Mr. Mayor which just leaves you wanting something more.

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Mr. Mayor is the latest creation of Tina Fey and Robert Carlock (30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) and follows the newly elected mayor of Los Angeles, Neil Bremer (Ted Danson). Bremer ran for mayor as he was essentially bored having retired from his multi-million dollar billboard company.

As with any workplace comedy, he’s surrounded by a cast of characters such as his campaign manager/social media influencer Mikaela Shaw (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s Vella Lovell), the mayor’s chief strategist Tommy Tomás (Mike Cabellon), and communications director Jayden Kwapis (Bobby Moynihan). Across the two episodes provided for review, Bremer also names his harshest critic, Arpi Meskimen (Holly Hunter), as his deputy mayor. And outside of work, Bremer has to try to figure out how to raise his rebellious teenage daughter, Orly (Kyla Kenedy).

Of all of the characters, the clear standout is Moynihan’s Jayden, but he is a standout to such a degree that he almost feels as if he’s from a different show. He vacillates from complete oddball – he wears ‘prescription flip-flops’ for his “podiatric claustrophobia” – to being incredibly efficient and knowledgable at his job.

Mr. Mayor - Season Pilot

MR. MAYOR — “Pilot” Episode 101 — Pictured: (l-r) Bobby Moynihan as Jayden Kwapis, Mike Cabellon as Tommy Tomas, Vella Lovell as Mikaela Shaw — (Photo by: Tina Thorpe/NBC)

By the end of the second episode, you wonder if they completely rewrote his character but didn’t want to change the actor.

With the amount of talent in front of and behind the camera, something feels incredibly flat about the series. By the second episode you’re dealing with run-of-the-mill sitcom plots for both the A and B stories that just feel like something you could find on any other workplace comedy. You have writers that have come up with some of the most iconic sitcoms of the last decade, and actors that have won awards and starred in hallmark series. This should be a mixture that just immediately generates a series that feels special and unique immediately, and instead, you find yourself rapidly being bored.

It’s true some series take time to grow into their flavor, but it’s going to be difficult to have the patience with Mr. Mayor and see that happen.


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Sean P. Aune

Sean Aune has been a pop culture aficionado since before there was even a term for pop culture. From the time his father brought home Amazing