DAR TV: Ranking The Seasons Of Martin

By @TrueGodImmortal

In television, there are some shows that tend to just be iconic. Throughout the 90s, black sitcoms were some of the most engaging things on television, some ripe with laughs, others able to blend laughs and social commentary within them. It provided an escape from the reality of the world and for those 30 minutes that your favorite sitcom was on, nothing else mattered. For me, I found myself mostly captivated by the hilarious and adult centered humor of Martin. For those who don't know, Martin is (in my opinion) the all time greatest sitcom and my personal favorite show ever. From the adventures at WZUP all to the way to the success of Word On The Street, there was never a dull moment on Martin. Tommy (RIP), Gina, Cole, Pam, Bruhman, and the number of characters that Martin played all kept us entertained throughout the show. So, today, I wanted to look at the show and every season, ranking it from the worst season (which we all know which one that was) to the greatest season of them all (tough choice). So let's get into this list and ranking the seasons of Martin.

5. Season 5 (1996-1997)

-It's not even a debate. The worst of the 5 seasons is the final. This would tend to be the norm with most black sitcoms as they tend to lose their way sometimes in the later seasons, and due to lack of creativity in the plot and just straight up unfunny episodes, the final season of Martin truly missed the mark. The season started off promising at first, with the whole season in some way centered around the need to create a child for Martin and Gina, but they would prove to be unsuccessful. What sticks out the most to me is the absence of Tisha Campbell after some issues between her and Martin arose and what followed from there. She missed a large portion of the season, and with that, the show suffered. They tried their best to make it work, but aside from the first episode where Martin goes to get Gina a pregnancy test to find out if she's pregnant or not (she wasn't), and the Halloween episode where Martin dressed as Ike Turner, there aren't many noteworthy moments or episodes to speak of unfortunately. Season 5 is undoubtedly the worst of the Martin seasons.

4. Season 1 (1992-1993)

-With season 1, there was a hit or miss feel as well, but more hits than misses I'd say. The first 5 episodes of the season were home runs, as Martin buying Gina a foot stool turned out to be much funnier than it should have been and the hilarity of Tommy falling for a woman that he didn't know that well also incited a ton of laughter. After the dead plumber episode, the show takes a small dive for a number of episodes, before picking back up with the episode where Gina and Martin are working together on the radio show and arguing. This leads into the greatest saga of Season 1, as Ms. Trinidad appears, causes friction, and then we get to the 3-part Martin and Gina breakup saga, before ending the season with the absolutely hilarious David Alan Grier as Reverend Leon Lonnie Love, the crooked reverend who Gina attempts to expose. It's a special season finale, and the season wraps up just right. If it wasn't for the dry spot during the middle point of the season, it would be ranked higher.

3. Season 4 (1995-1996)

-This was the season that I think Martin must have let his vices get the best of him. For whatever reason, Martin seemed out of it during some of the episodes, but that only made this even funnier. From the episode where Martin lost everything in a pool game to a female player who hustled him to the DMV episode where Martin had to start from scratch every time he turned around, this season was literally everything you'd want from Martin and more. This season saw Martin upgrade his Word On The Street stage and duties, the Biggie episode, the hilarity that ensued after Gina loses her job momentarily (I love the scene with her and Bruhman... "who in the hell, left the gate open"), and one of my personal favorites when Pam's cousin comes and utilizes her singing talent and Martin's managerial skills to gain a record deal. Season 4 is the last true glimpse of greatness in the show, as we already discussed what happened in Season 5.

2. Season 3 (1994-1995)

-It's tough choosing between seasons 2 and 3 because both are absolutely classic, but Season 3 just misses the mark. Though Season 3 sometimes has the advantage to me in a few instances due to a few episodes that leave me laughing in tears, the season was a bit slow to pick up the pace unfortunately after the first hilarious episode with the becoming of Shaquille Sunflower. The season gets rolling with the "Martin Gets Paid" episode, when Martin has to make an audition tape to acquire a job and possibly his own show at a TV station. He comes up with a show that ends with a hilarious moment with Tommy, and phone charges to "976-Strokey Doke", which might be the dumbest yet funniest thing ever. Other classic moments include when Gina had her friend Monique come to town, and we would soon find out that she wasn't "so real" like she and her books claimed and who could forget the Chilligan Island episode? Another iconic episode that only elevates this season higher. This was also the season that Martin and Gina got married, which had a series of crazy events transpire leading up to it, and the season where Martin thought he had a son, but would soon find out that he didn't (this episode might be one of the greatest Martin episodes ever just off of "I'm sorry I lied to you Martin, I didn't want to go to Arizona"). Another bittersweet but forever hysterical episode is when Martin tries to go undercover to find out where Tommy works (RIP), spawning a truly insane batch of craziness throughout. There's so many great moments in this season that I could go on and on. It's a reason why this is the 2nd best season, and if you said you thought it was the best, I couldn't fault you in some way because it was amazing in its own right.

1. Season 2 (1993-1994)

-This season is unmatched and might be the funniest season in TV sitcom history. I was young when this season aired, but somehow I still remembered what transpired when I watched it back as an adult. Martin was in rare form this entire season, and I still laugh out loud when thinking of every saga that went on. I mean one of the first episodes saw Martin in Superfly or The Mack mode reminiscing on the night he met Gina, and that's still an episode that I can watch over and over again. The season premiere where Martin is going for man of the decade at his high school reunion is special also, with the tale of Pretty Ricky attempting to show him up while Gina went through a bit of a traumatic experience to make it there by Martin's side. There was the story of Gina and her friend Wallace, who was interested in Pam so much that he would go shopping with them just to get closer. This made Martin suspicious and the hilarity continued from there. How could I forget the courtroom episode where Martin represented himself and went hysterical in the court? Or when Martin had this CD player stolen and decided to investigate who stole it, resulting in the funniest moment in the show's history with a homage to New Jack City within it. Or, how about Martin trying to get in shape and denouncing all bad foods until he's broken by Gina and her plate of food along with his momma's biscuits? The 2nd season had all this AND then some, including the end of the WZUP saga as Martin loses his job and sells shirts outside of a Whitney Houston concert with Bruhman (which is another top tier Martin moment), but nothing in the history of the sitcom beats the Varnell Hill story over two episodes. The Varnell Hill story takes Martin through a long run of hilarious moments, including interrupting Jodeci during their performance on Varnell's show and the most ridiculous yet side splitting interaction between Martin and Varnell at WZUP. When you look back at season 2, every episode was a winner. There's no doubt in my mind that Season 2 is the greatest season of Martin. It's no denying it.



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