For years now, Wednesday nights have been primetime's pinnacle of TV comedy, and one of the newest entries into the midweek fun is NBC's Marlon, featuring star and creator Marlon Wayans as a social media star raising two kids with his ex-wife, played by Essence Atkins. Co-star Diallo Riddle spoke with CinemaBlend about the super-popular sitcom, and it's not exactly the comedy aspect that he's hoping makes the biggest impact among viewers. It's the unique family dynamic.
My goal for that show would be that it comes back for a second and a third and a fourth season, because I think that it's offering a very nontraditional family setup. Marlon and his wife are divorced on the show. They just decided to be cool with one another as they continue to raise these children. I would hope that we're giving people a sort of a blueprint on how to do it in their own lives. You know, close to 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, and a lot of those marriages have children on the other side of it. So we hope, in a way, that we're giving people a blueprint on how to manage a child-centered divorce and how to have fun with people who, for better or worse, you may not be with now, but you did love and you do love, because they are the parent of your child.
Not exactly the kind of motivational words you hear everyday from the star of a broadcast sitcom, but that takes nothing away from the power behind those words. Diallo Riddle is more than right in bringing up how many situations out there in the world have children in the middle of two divorced parents constantly at odds with one another for whatever reason. And it's not like a lot of TV shows do much to push back against the stereotype that ex-husbands and ex-wives are the worst. Marlon definitely bucks that trend.
When taking a surface look at Marlon, it's not even immediately obvious that Marlon and Ashely are divorced, since they always seem to be having a good time, usually with daughter Marley (Notlim Taylor) and Zach (Amir O'Neil) laughing it up nearby. Now, some will obviously just say that this is just a TV sitcom being unrealistic -- and to be fair, there aren't a lot of ex-husbands out there quite like the show's Marlon Wayne. But is it really less realistic than believing that any two former lovers can't see past their differences in order to raise their children in a civilized manner? For some, sure, but probably not the majority of divorced parents.
Diallo Riddle would probably like more seasons of Marlon because of some job-related reasons than just offering audiences life advice -- just check out all the glowing things he had to say about how great Marlon Wayans is as a TV boss -- but there's something quite wholesome and lovely about wanting to provide this kind of inspiration to people on a weekly basis.
Especially when those weekly viewings are bringing in audiences like Marlon has been. In the most superb post-America's Got Talent timeslot, the comedy's doubled-up premiere debuted to big numbers, both in total viewers and in the key 18-49 demographic, and the second week of episodes managed to come extremely close to matching those initial totals. It's already one of NBC's most popular summer shows in quite a few years. So there's definitely the potential for quite a few people to walk away from the show with a newfound look on joint custody.
Diallo Riddle, who plays the hilariously oddball Stevie, is known for his work writing for the pre-Tonight Show late night shenanigans from Jimmy Fallon, and he's also part of the writing staff for Tracy Morgan's upcoming TBS comedy, called The Last O.G. We can't wait to see what that show will teach audiences.