All About The Washingtons Review 2018 TV-Show Series Season Cast
Creators: Jeremy Bronson
Stars: Joseph Simmons, Justine Simmons, Kiana Ledé
Review: I watched the show and called it ‘All about the Simmons’ because I couldn’t separate the reality show personas of Rev Run or Justine from their characters in this series. I saw it as a creative extension of those reality shows, bringing along some young actors and actresses for the ride. And I think that is what makes the series work for me.
Fans of the reality series will recognize the small differences in the Simmons’ house. Haven’t looked up yet whether or not the series was mostly filmed at the Simmon’s estate itself or in recreated versions of that estate.
Few in Hollywood would argue that the broadcast television pilot process is a mess. Every spring, networks throw tens of millions of dollars into prototypes for shows they know with certainty will never air. And every spring, no doubt several good pilots die unceremonious deaths and multiple awful pilots somehow get sent to series, making us wonder just how bad the things that were rejected must have been.
In that respect, maybe Netflix has decided to perform an odd public service as part of its recent trend in snagging failed broadcast pilots from the scrapheap and giving them the chance to see the light of day. How, some people wondered, did The CW not order Insatiable to series when the pilot seemed to have a lot of buzz? Thanks to Netflix, we now know that Insatiable was satirically misguided, tonally imbalanced and generally unbearable. The CW didn’t need a full season to know that Insatiable was a blunder and neither will many viewers, but it’s always illuminating to see something the network behind The Outpost thought was too unsightly to air.
Nothing so dramatic can be proven by watching the new comedy All About the Washingtons, which was originally developed at ABC before finding its way to Netflix. An attempt to harness the personal chemistry of Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons and wife Justine, only in a scripted sitcom form, All About the Washingtons probably should have just been an “Oops, but we tried!” failed experiment. Instead, thanks to Netflix, it has become a flat, lackluster dud given a full season to prove very conclusively that being a great reality TV personality isn’t the same as being an actor.
Because they are pros, the Washington kids are better. If I laughed at all at All About the Washingtons, it was at Randall’s precocious nerdiness or at several line readings from Lede. Anderson (son of Black-ish star Anthony) and Smedley are also OK, though the two Washington daughters are much more thoroughly sketched than the sons. The first episode, presumably still under the ABC purview, features Tim Meadows and Shark Tank breakout Daymond John as guest stars. Later episodes include Arsenio Hall playing himself with consummate professionalism.
Although the show featuring the kids and Hall is better than the Joey and Justine show, no character or plotline ever made me say, “Man, I wish THAT was the show.” No, the show is built exclusively on the idea that people who are funny in reality can be made to be fictionally funny. In this case, they cannot. It’s not an offensive failure. It’s just the sort of failure audiences have grown to trust the pilot process to weed out.