Season Two of Comedy Central’s Legends of Chamberlain Heights kicked off its first episode titled “The G-Word” Sunday night. G stands for gentrification and the hood isn’t happy about it. Along the way, hipsters and the intrusion of CNN’s Don Lemon are solidly mocked.
The ghetto is being taken over by hipsters in search of a neighborhood to revitalize. As the organic juicery opens and urban rail appears, street names are changed – like a Malcolm Gladwell Blvd. - for a place to support artisanal cheese shops and vegan eateries. The local high school is renamed from Michael Clarke Duncan High School to Matt Damon Charter School.
Water polo takes the place of basketball. Working in a slap at President Reagan, when students express surprise that the school even had a swimming pool, the coach says it was a part of Reagan’s Sink or Swim Initiative and it just hadn’t been used since the 1988 swim team drowned. When Jamal’s brother Trel rents out his room for an inflated price thanks to gentrification raising rents, Jamal complains. Trel isn’t interested, though, and tells him, “I’m like the Trump voter – I don’t care what you say.”
Having reached a breaking point, a protest is organized complete with signs reading Black Neighborhoods Matter, Die Whitey and You’re Not Gonna Columbus Us. A white policeman arrives to tell one protester to turn down the loud music in his boom box. When he tells the policeman that he can’t tell him to do that, the policeman tells him he can do anything he wants. When the protester refuses to obey the officer’s order, the policeman chokes him to death. Gee, who didn’t see that coming?
CNN’s Don Lemon arrives on the scene and is mocked by Trel for not being black enough. Lemon ends up smoking weed with Trel (a drug dealer) and Trel tells Lemon to not even try and act black.
The fact that protests turn into riots and destroy the neighborhoods where those protesting live was aptly noted as one protester said, “Let’s take back our neighborhood by destroying it!” And that is what happened. After the hipsters gentrified the riot by bringing in Williams Sonoma and Nordstrom stores, they decided the thrill of the neighborhood was over. The hipsters moved on to the next ghetto neighborhood to work their magic.
This show is as crude, profane and obnoxious as ever. No doubt the Comedy Central crowd will continue to love it.