The TBS comedy The Last O.G. on TBS is a show that can be easily misunderstood based on its title. I have to admit that when the show first premiered I thought it was going to be about an unlikeable gangster trying to run the streets. I didn’t think I’d be interested in watching the show. I was wrong. The series, created by Oscar and Emmy winner Jordan Peele follows an ex-convict who, after serving fifteen years, returns home to his Brooklyn neighborhood to see everything has changed and how he must now adapt to this new reality.
When the series premiered, Tray, played by Tracy Morgan, wanted to reconnected with his ex-girlfriend Shannon (Tiffany Haddish) and their teenaged twins. Tray is surprised to learn upon finding his family that Shannon is married to a white guy name Josh (Ryan Gaul) whom his kids call dad. But, Shannon being married to a white man isn’t an issue. And while the kids calling Josh dad stings a bit, Tray gets it. Tray actually appreciates that Josh has loved and raised his children and now wants the opportunity to form his own relationship with the twins.
A lot of the show centers on Tray becoming acclimated to his new life, in a new time where everything he once knew is no longer the same. Fifteen years is a long time to be away. Tray has to navigate his way through technological advancements, gentrification and the ways in which Shannon has changed since they were together.
As Tray goes on his new life journey he does it with grace and dignity. He’s a new man and he just wants to prove that he’s changed and wants a chance to prove it. This isn’t saying some of Tray’s old bad habits don’t pop up from time to time, the beauty in the show is with that internal conflict for our hero. He knows what’s right but sometimes needs help and support from his family and friends to make sure he chooses the correct path.
The Last O.G. is about an imperfect man who with all his flaws, knows he can do better and each episode we get observe his steps and missteps towards a better self. The show uses flashbacks to before Tray went to prison to help us understand who he was and better inform us of who he is now. Throughout the three seasons, the series has expanded Tray’s world. It’s not just about his family. He has a job, he’s making new friends, and maybe one day will find lasting romance.
Tracy Morgan gives such a pure and honest performance as Tray. You can’t help but root for him, even when he messes up. Tiffany Haddish plays the “straight” role but is still given plenty of comedic material to take advantage of her immense talent. Shannon is often frustrated with Tray but she sees that he’s trying and that’s usually enough for her. One of the most heartfelt and unexpected relationships on the show is between Tray and Shannon’s husband Josh. Josh is supportive of Tray reconnecting with his family, if even at times he’s jealous when the twins would rather want to be with Tray rather than him. In one season 3 episode Josh spends the whole episode helping Tray find an apartment. Most sitcom trope would have these men as adversaries but The Last O.G. zigs where other shows would zag.
Season 3 boasts a great Thanksgiving episode focused on Tray seeing most of his extended family for the first time. The episode boasts all star comedic talent including Anna Maria Horsford, Katt Williams, John Amos and J.B. Smoove. I highly recommend this episode. It has everything a holiday episode needs but keeps the edginess that is built into the DNA of the show.
Along with all the heart in this show, comes a lot of laughs. This show is funny and definitely worth your time.
One other fun thing about The Last O.G. is that TBS makes “uncut” episodes containing uncensored language available. These episodes are definitely worth checking out.
Watch the season 3 trailer below.