When a Netflix show comes back, the streamer hopes that it's received with open arms. That fans have been waiting, and prove it by watching immediately. Such is the case with a Netflix sitcom returning for its second season.
Released on June 29, the second season of this show has already jumped to the No. 4 spot on the Netflix Top 10 TV Shows in the U.S. Today chart in its second day on the service. And that might not sound like a huge accomplishment, but it is when you consider what's above it.
The Upshaws season 2 sits at No. 4 in TV today on Netflix, right behind two of the biggest shows on Netflix (Umbrella Academy at No. 1 and Stranger Things 4 at No. 2), while the surprise upstart The UnXplained is at No. 3.
And while it's not one of the best shows on Netflix, I bet you're asking one question right now:
What is The Upshaws?
Parenthood is tricky, especially when you have in-laws around all the time. This isn't exactly a new concept, but it works when you've got three veterans of the comedy world: Wanda Sykes, Mike Epps and Kim Fields.
Sykes plays Lucretia, who is the sister of Regina (Fields), and she doesn't let Regina's husband Bennie (Epps) forget about things she deems as his mistakes. "What mistakes?" I hear you ask? Well, Bennie and Regina are not only raising their own daughters Aaliyah and Maya (Khali Spraggins and Journey Christine, respectively) and there's also their son Bernard Jr. (Jermelle Simon), who Bennie wasn't around to support until he was 16. Oh, and one more thing...
Bennie also has to care for Kelvin (Diamond Lyons), the child he had with his previous partner Tasha (Gabrielle Dennis), when he thought he and Regina were not together. (Somewhere, Ross Gellar is yelling "we were on a break!") All the while, Bennie's trying to run his own auto shop called Bennie's Garage.
Bennie's trying his hardest, but as you might expect from a sitcom dad... that's not always enough. Lucretia is around to help the kids out, but she's also willing to tell the kids about the guys they could have been with instead of Bennie.
What do critics think of The Upshaws?
The Upshaws is arguably critic-proof. At least in that it flies under the radar and doesn't get a lot of negative press. It's a kind-of nice and inoffensive sitcom that draws viewers in, but doesn't do enough to start a conversation.
Currently, Rotten Tomatoes lists season 1 at 63% (with only 8 reviews), while season 2 has a single review and no score. On the positive end of the reviews, Kristen Baldwin at Entertainment Weekly called The Upshaws a "fresh, funny family sitcom," and gave most of her praise to Fields, writing "Fields is a master of the 'because I said so' death glare, and she and Epps have a sweet comic chemistry. But she shines in the dramatic moments, too, bringing authenticity to Regina's emotional intricacies."
Caroline Framke at Variety agreed, noting that "Regina is the sharp-witted glue that keeps it together." She also wrote that The Upshaws is "a show... this willing to find new ways to make such tropes more grounded and relatable," and that "it’s worth checking out."
One negative review came from Inkoo Kang at the Hollywood Reporter, who thinks the series is regressive, writing "Save for one noteworthy update to the Black family sitcoms of yore, Sykes and her co-creator Regina Y. Hicks' largely listless series would've fit right into the network TV comedy landscape 20 years ago."
Joel Keller of Decider wasn't particularly fond of of the show either, writing that while it has "good sitcom bones," The Upshaws is "so saddled with tired plots and dialogue it just makes for a show that feels like it's already stale."
Analysis: Should you watch The Upshaws tonight?
It appears that long-time fans of The Upshaws didn't need any encouragement to dive back in, but what about those who haven't checked out Bennie's Garage yet. Well, my advice is particularly simple. Having watched a bit of The Upshaws, I can tell you it's exactly what it looks like.
The Upshaws doesn't reinvent the wheel at all, but it's a capable sitcom nonetheless. And right now, when many will take the laughs where we can get them? It's worth a spin.
Next: Check out the one Netflix show you need to binge watch this month, which is coming back for season 4. Plus, this new Disney Plus show has 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, making it a must-watch. And see the 9 new movies and shows to watch this weekend on Netflix, Hulu and more.
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Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.