Bounce TV’s hit drama “Johnson” broke records for the network with its 2021 premiere. The series executive produced by Cedric the Entertainer and D.L. Hughley returned July 2022 with a new season guaranteed to touch on the emotional high points from last season. The cast and show execs raise the bar higher with bolder storylines that confront today’s trending topics from an authentic Black man’s perspective.
The series centers around four childhood friends, connected by the last name Johnson, who end up becoming lifelong friends. Greg, Jarvis, Keith and Omar played by Deji Laray, Derrex Brady, Philip A. Smithy and Thomas Q. Jones respectively, are four Black men with very different life circumstances and familial backgrounds. “Johnson” manages to define the complexities of being a Black man in America through four very different lenses but with the shared themes of love and respect. Creator, writer and actor Laray says the series was an opportunity to give Black men an authentic voice on various subjects in a manner rarely heard on public platforms. “Johnson” addresses racial discrimination in the workplace and police brutality, but also focuses on interpersonal issues such as divorce, self-identity and even the infamous “bro’ code” among men.
While television audiences are used to hearing women discuss relationship issues with each other and their significant others, hearing Black men discuss their emotions with each other is relatively new. When discussing the dynamics of romantic relationships, Laray says men often don’t allow themselves to explore their own feelings.
“You hear the quote happy wife, happy life and many times men don’t even allow themselves to acknowledge they aren’t happy. You may question yourself and wonder if you are being weak or overly emotional,” Laray explains.
Co-star and co-producer Thomas Q. Jones agrees with Laray but goes even further. “In most cases of happy wife, happy life, the man was finding his happiness elsewhere, but we don’t talk about that. Finding happiness is a basic human need so the idea that within a household, only the wife needs to be happy is unrealistic,” Jones says.
“Johnson” touches on a myriad of compelling topics every Sunday at 8 p.m. EDT on Bounce TV. Viewers can also find the series on the Brown Sugar app.