‘…steering clear of obvious tele-parable sentiment, Primo offers all the warm and fuzzy feels that you might want hope for a top-notch situation comedy. It’s remebering the best about life and that’s Primo stuff….’

Let’s chill DFO with a sure-fire winner; Primo is a new 8-episode NBCUniversal sitcom series, dropping on Freevee in the UK, from Shea Serrano, using incidents from his own family life. He’s working with Mike Schur who knows his stuff from Parks and Rec and The Good Place. That’s a sweet combo as the creative juice behind Primo, a funny, non-preachy remembrance of growing up in an extended family that skips sentiment in favour of comic insight and underlying affection. With a welcome blue-collar setting background of a San Antonio Irrigation company, Primo isn’t trying to be seen as hip, woke or political; the family featured are Mexican American but the trials of the Gonzalez family are likely to be understood as universal and timeless.

‘I don’t want Succession or Euphoria and I don’t know who Doja Cat is,’ offers Ryan (Carlos Santos) one of the three uncles who complicate and facilitate the 16 year old angst of Rafa Gonzales (Ignacio Diaz-Silverio). Rafa’s at a tentative point in a relationship with Mya (Stakiah Lynn Washington) under the watchful eye of his resourceful mother Drea (Christina Vidal), and there’s eternal complications via his five uncles, with Ryan joined by Jonathan Medina as Jay, Herni Esteve as Mike, Johnny Ray Diaz as Rollie, and Efrain Villa as the hirsute Mondo. It’s easy to understand how elaborate board games are quite the thing in the Gonzalez family, as are practical jokes, one-upmanship and Rafa’s wish that his family were more like the ideal featured in Fast and Furious movies.

Primo is funny from the straight-up get go, with easily graspable situations with a moral dimension; ; should a family tell a mother that they never told her that her cooking sucks, and does that balance out the white lies we realise our mother once told us.? ‘You can’t,’ as Lou Reed said, ‘…always trust your mother,’ but Primo is a heartfelt tribute to the maternal role, admirably played by Vidal. Drea is a smart operator, and has held the family together through the virtue of honesty. Rafa may find his mother’s homilies make her sound like ‘the Oracle from The Matrix’ but Drea is just a formidable mum, in full flight when she side-line’s Mya with a crunching slam of domestic authority; ‘You’ve been in Düsseldorf for ten years, what do you know?’

If an unhappy childhood is supposedly a goldmine for a writer, then a happy one should be too, and the comedy conveys warm memories of real situations; it doesn’t take much contrivance for Rafa to end up hosed down on a date, while Schur recycles his classic pitfall gag from Parks and Rec. And the references in Primo feel modern but not forced, from driving ‘Sigourney Beamer’ to the not-unreasonable assertion that ‘Civilization is what happened when Santana teamed up with that guy from Matchbox 20.’ Steering clear of obvious tele-parable sentiment, Primo offers all the warm and fuzzy feels that you might hope for in a top-notch situation comedy. It’s remembering all that’s best about life and that’s Primo stuff.


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  1. Claudia Schiffer was discovered dancing in a Dusseldorf disco. I know that much.

    I’d pass on this, but considering the platform I don’t think I’ll get a chance to do that much.

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