Reality TV dramas are running rampant on television, but in a refreshing departure from stale programming, TV Land is debuting a new comedic sitcom with an all-star black cast. Niecy Nash and Cedric the Entertainer, two of black comedy’s funniest, have transformed into Lolli and Reverend Boyce “The Voice” Ballentine for “The Soul Man.” Detailing the story of a Las Vegas couple who leaves behind Ballentine’s superstar lifestyle to become the first family of a modest St. Louis church, ‘The Soul Man” focuses on believable situations with a twist.
In tonight’s premiere, viewers will see Lolli, whose big-city style and penchant for skintight dresses puts the other women of the church on edge, struggle to open a hair salon. With virtually no other option, her cleric husband goes to extremes to rev up her business. His attempts are highly contested however, and he’s quickly shut down by his congregation. “She is Vegasin’ up our church,” says one churchgoer about his flashy wife. “We don’t need her Vegasin’ up our hair.”
Besides desperately trying to aid his wife, Ballentine will also struggle to put his secular past behind him, his most famous hit; “Sexwitchoo” isn’t exactly holy, all while raising a teen played by “My Wife And Kids” star Jazz Raycole. Most memorable, however, are the soul singer-turned-pastor’ss asides where he looks up to the heavens and has a little talk with Jesus. “You know happy wife means happy life. Of course, you wouldn’t know that, you never married ….” he says in one scene. “But once you marry you know that you’re fallible.”
This and other antics take place in front of a live studio audience, a unique touch that while not necessarily needed, is commendable.
“The Soul Man”‘ premieres tonight at 10 p.m.on TV Land. –danielle canada