Lee's satire on American TV is an intriguing failure. Its story, about the mounting of a TV revival of a blackface minstrel show, certainly has comic potential, and Lee has created a considerable figure of fun in the isolated, central figure of Pierre Delacroix (Wayans), the one black executive writer of the CNS network. Set against the venality and shallowness of his ratings hungry boss Dunwitty (Rapaport), Delacroix gains our sympathy. But, Lee also marks him as a sad dupe in sharply funny scenes where homeless tap dancer Mantan (Glover) and his buddy Womack (Davidson) are bamboozled by Delacroix and Dunwitty into playing frontmen to stereotypical 'hill-niggers' and 'Alabama porch monkeys' for the pilot. It's hard to know how to take him. The pilot of course is a hit, but success breeds failure: conflict for Mantan and Womack, deep confusion for Delacroix, the threatening attention of activists - and a loss of focus by the director.
Cast and crew
Thomas Jefferson Byrd