“Mr. Mayor” Review


Created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, NBC’s “Mr. Mayor” follows Neil Brenner, played by Ted Danson, and his mayoral staff as they struggle to run Los Angeles post-pandemic. After premiering on January 7, 2021, “Mr. Mayor” completed its first season with nine mediocre episodes.

“Mr. Mayor” discusses LA’s issues in a dramatic and humorous way. Fey writes about a panic in LA due to an avocado shortage, the importance of the first throw at a Dodger’s game and the dangers that palm trees bring to LA. The problems are ridiculous and so out of the blue that it’s hard not to laugh at the chaos these issues bring. Although the acting is subpar and the characters are overplayed stereotypes, such as the phone-obsessed teenager, the quintessential hipster LA natives, the out-of-touch dad and the dumb-but-lovable coworker, the plot is intriguing and lighthearted.

“Mr. Mayor” focuses more on the dynamics between drastically different characters.
For example, Arpi Meskimen, played by Holly Hunter, and Neil Bremmer are two adversaries who work together. Bremmer is an older, more conservative man who is often wrapped up in his personal issues. Contrastingly, Meskimen is a slightly younger, no-nonsense deputy mayor whose ideas are on the complete opposite side of the spectrum as Bremmer’s. This leads to a clashing of two powerful forces, neither of which wants to yield, which makes some interesting and funny drama. Unfortunately, the character dynamics don’t make up for other areas where the show falls short.

Similar to many shows these days, “Mr. Mayor” struggles with understanding teenagers, and with that, the only young character is poorly written and annoying. Her storylines often only focus on social media and being embarrassed by her father which makes her a very 2D character that, to me, isn’t relatable to many teen viewers.

The show features celebrity cameos including Andi MacDowell, Chrissy Teigen and David Spade. Actors Ted Danson, Bobby Moynihan and Holly Hunter are, in my opinion, the only good actors in the show, and their characters are the most enjoyable. They seem to be the only actors who understand their roles and approach them from a more analytical angle to determine the cadence of their speech and what their body movement would be like. Also, they have more acting credits than most of their cast members and tend to be in higher-quality films.

On the other hand, the plot of each episode is original and well-written. The twenty-minute episodes allow the storylines to be concluded in a satisfying way and similar to other NBC shows; the next episode doesn’t rely on the former.

While I don’t think “Mr. Mayor” is the next big thing, it is nice to have as a fun watch in-between shows. Due to the poor acting and difficult characters, it isn’t easy to binge-watch, although you could try. If you are interested in watching it, it is available for free streaming on Peacock, Hulu and NBC.