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‘This Is Hot 97’ Review Roundup: Diehard Hip Hop Fans Will Love It

Tue, April 1, 2014 11:48am EDT by Add first Comment
This Is Hot 97 Review
Courtesy of VH1

‘This Is Hot 97’ premiered on VH1 on March 31 to a lot of love from critics and hip hop fans alike. The reality show, which takes place in the studio of iconic New York hip hop radio station Hot 97 combines workplace comedies and reality shows to great effect. See what critics and fans alike are saying!

Over at VH1, This Is Hot 97 is a a reality show that’s actually a comedy about reality shows, but is also unscripted and none of the actors are actually actors. Still following? The concept seems to have been lost in translation by some critics who have missed the point, but others love it — and fans are obsessed with it. Diehard fans of Hot 97 — “Where Hip Hop Lives” — will love the behind-the-scenes look they’ll get of the iconic radio station. Read on for what the critics and fans are saying about VH1’s newest series!

‘This Is Hot 97’ ‘Will Surprise Many Fans’: Review Roundup

Critical reviews are fairly mixed about the new series and your enjoyment of the series is largely going to depend on whether you’re already tuning into Hot 97 as a hip hop fan. The most exciting thing about This Is Hot 97 is that viewers can expect the sketches to feature surprise appearances from the very same hip hop legends that Hot 97 interviews daily as a matter of course. Here’s what some critics are saying:

The New York Times

In general, the people who get paid to be funny on the radio are the ones who are funny here, particularly Peter Rosenberg and Cipha Sounds, who know the limits of their charisma and don’t push too far beyond that. (“The rap Teletubbies,” a colleague calls them.) There’s also Funkmaster Flex, less a comedian than a boldly drawn caricature of verbal excess, here playing the role of mischief maker in chief, corralling an intern farm to tweet for him and pilfering a co-worker’s lunch from the office fridge.

New York Daily News

This Is Hot 97 will surprise many fans. It aims not for “reality,” but for “unscripted comedy,” which seems to mean turning the Hot 97 crew into players for a series of sketches.

That could be dire. Nonactors as a rule are not funny in on-camera sketches, no matter how much they crack up their family and friends at Memorial Day barbecues.

This team, though, seems surprisingly skilled.

The sleeper star is Ebro Darden, who during the filming was program director. He and Macklemore do a wonderfully droll scene where Ebro talks about needing a star while ignoring Macklemore.

The Star-Ledger

Even though the end result is less reality show about a radio station than reality show about making a reality show, the series doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Either this is a scripted parody or the result of what happens when people are aware there’s more cameras in the hallways than usual. It’s true that radio banter doesn’t exactly always translate to screen gems, but you can tell they’re trying.

‘This Is Hot 97’: Fans Of Hot 97 Show Love To VH1’s Newest Series

What do you think, HollywoodLifers? Did you tune into the premiere? If so, will you be watching again? Let us know!

— Amanda Michelle Steiner

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