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'Boomerang' is Worth Catching
February 12, 2019  | By David Hinckley

Boomerang has come back.

Twenty-seven years after the Eddie Murphy/Halle Berry rom-com Boomerang cleaned up in theaters, it has returned, more or less, as a TV show.

Boomerang the TV show debuts Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET on BET, and in a clever twist, the lead characters this time are the children of the characters in the original.

Murphy isn’t around. Berry is an executive producer.

Boomerang picks up a number of the good-natured rom-com elements of the original movie. At the same time, out of the gate, it seems to be moving in some grey areas that give it a different tone.

In an early scene, aspiring advertising executive Bryson (Tequan Richmond, top and right) questions a campaign proposed by his boss, the imposing Victoria Johnson (Paula Newsome).

The campaign promotes an energy drink, and Johnson’s proposal shows happy people sharing the drink as part of an evening on the town.

Bryson argues that today’s black millennials, target demo for this beverage, don’t just want to party. They want to rise in the corporate world. They want to buy a home for their mother. They want to support the church.

To reach that audience, he says, the campaign should be aspirational and inspirational, showing people having fun while also making it clear they are serious and focused on success.

Bryson’s pitch doesn’t go quite as he expected, for reasons he can’t quite explain. Still, Boomerang establishes early that it’s not going to portray its characters as fast-talking, wisecracking party hounds.

Bryson’s connection to the movie story is that he’s the son of Jacqueline Broyer, who was played by Robin Givens and was the tempting other woman who almost took Murphy’s Marcus Graham character away from Berry’s Angela Lewis.

But in the end, Marcus finally understood true love and returned to Angela. It was a sweet happy ending, fitting for a rom-com, and now the TV series gives us one of the consequences of that relationship: Simone (Tetona Jackson, top and above), daughter of Marcus and Angela.

Simone, now in her mid-20s, has been working at her father’s agency, alongside Bryson and under Victoria.

Simone isn’t happy about that. Simone is restless about a number of things, including her devoted and frustrated boyfriend. She won’t give him a commitment because she wants to do more with her life, and that crossroads is basically where this Boomerang begins its story.

Naturally, we meet ancillary characters, including the charismatic performance artist/stripper Tia (Lala Milan, above) and some folks who come from the streets rather than the money class.

It’s an interesting mix, well played, and while it’s a comedy, it treats its characters as serious people who understand the obstacles and still choose to run the course.

The original Boomerang didn’t aspire to shout a big message from some mountaintop. It wove an interesting tale about people. The new Boomerang has a good shot at following in those honorable footsteps.

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