After the year we’ve had with politics, I will admit that I wasn’t thrilled to watch another show about incompetent government officials, but I still decided to give the first two episodes of Mr. Mayor a shot—given that the show was created by the legendary Tina Fey and Robert Carlock. Upon watching the pilot, I was laughing almost immediately and became excited by The Good Place’s Ted Danson’s new role as Neil Bremer. Neil Bremer, otherwise known as Mr. Mayor, is a single father and retired California businessman who decided to run for Mayor on a whim and won.
In terms of the plot and character arcs, Mr. Mayor reminded me a bit of Parks and Recreation. Just like in Parks and Recreation, all of the local government officials seem to be involved in the central drama of the show. In the pilot episode, we are introduced to Apri Meskimen (Holly Hunter), the show’s primary antagonist. Apri is a local councilwoman displeased with Neil’s lack of government experience; it appears that she is going to try and steal his seat as Mayor as the show progresses. Another character whom I became quite interested in was Jayden (Bobby Moynihan), Neil’s clumsy assistant. Jayden seems to have a good heart and mean well, but isn’t always up for the job. During the premiere episode, we were also introduced to Mikaela Shaw (Vella Lovell), a young government employee who presents as quite the opposite of Jayden; she has an extremely professional demeanor and strong work ethic. Last we have Tommy Tomás (Mike Cabellon), Neil’s uptight communications secretary.
Aside from the government characters, the show also spends a fair bit of time hovering Neil’s daughter Orly (Kyla Kenedy), who happens to be running for a high power position herself, Student Council President at her high school. I predict that we will get more insight into Orly’s life—both in and outside of the student council—as well as see Neil struggle to balance his duties as a father with those he has as Mayor this season.
In terms of ratings, Mr. Mayor had nearly 4.9 million viewers during the premiere and 4.3 million during episode 2, so it looks promising for the network. Part of the appeal of this show is that while it is clearly fun for adults, it is also something kids can watch and enjoy too. Although the show may be based on local politics, it is the humor and hijinks—such as Neil showing up high to make an appearance at a local elementary school—that makes it what it is. Just like Parks and Recreation, Mr Mayor can be entertaining no matter your political stance or level of interest in politics. I urge you to check out the first two episodes and continue watching throughout the season. I know that I for one am looking forward to seeing what Mr. Mayor has in store for us.
Watch ‘Mr Mayor’ on NBC Thursdays at 8/7 central.
By Blair Krassen @blairlyawake