The Carmichael Show, Jerrod Carmichael’s refreshingly old-school NBC sitcom, returns for a third season tonight, and what a pleasure it is to see the cast and crew settling into such a confident groove. The series is a hot-button comedy strongly modeled on the collected works of Norman Lear (All in the Family, Good Times, Maude, The Jeffersons). Carmichael is too young to have watched any of these programs during their original airings; he discovered them in repeats and became fascinated with them because, during his own childhood in the ’90s, network sitcoms had largely moved away from the sort of topic-driven, let’s-fight-it-out material that Lear and his collaborators specialized in.
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