“The Upshaws” is a funny and relatable show about an American family trying to navigate life and complex relationships. Though it’s set in modern times, the show harkens back to the good old days of ‘90s sitcom TV. The first season was popular among Netflix viewers in 2021, and many people are looking forward to new episodes this year.
Here’s all the latest news and information we have about “The Upshaws,” its cast members, and season two details.
What Is “The Upshaws” About?
“The Upshaws” is a Netflix original series about a working-class Black family in Indiana. Regina and Bennie Upshaw are the heads of the family and have three children: Bernard Jr., Aaliyah, and Maya. Bennie also has a son, Kelvin Upshaw, with another woman, Tasha Lewis. Wanda Sykes and Regina Y. Hicks created the sitcom to show a modern family dealing with everyday struggles as they work toward a better and happy life.
Where Can You Watch “The Upshaws?”
The first season of “The Upshaws” premiered on May 12, 2021, and is available to stream on Netflix. The sitcom includes 10 episodes in the following order:
- Birthday B.S.
- The Hook-Up
- Joy Ride
- Big Plans
- Ridin’ Dirty
- Last Straw
- Yard Sale
- Night Out
- Gloves Off
- The Backslide
With a runtime of under 30 minutes, it’s an easy show to binge-watch once you get hooked on the family’s story. “The Upshaws” was produced by Savannah Sweet Productions, Push It Productions, and Naptown Productions. Executive producers include Regina Y. Hicks, Wanda Sykes, Page Hurwitz, Mike Epps, and Niles Kirchner. The show was written by a large team of writers headed by Regina Y. Hicks.
Is “The Upshaws” a Good Show?
“The Upshaws” received good reviews from critics and viewers. The series has a 75% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and a 63% from critic ratings. Viewers who liked the show were impressed by its portrayal of a blended American family and how the relationships between the different characters felt genuine. One reviewer summed it up perfectly when they said “The Upshaws” is a funny and timely portrayal of an imperfect but loving family.
Everything You Need to Know About the Cast of “The Upshaws”
“The Upshaws” stars Kim Fields, Mike Epps, and Wanda Sykes as the three main characters. Fields brings a lot of sitcom experience to the cast. Her most famous roles include Dorothy “Tootie” Ramsey in “The Facts of Life” and Regine Hunter in “Living Single.” Mike Epps is a comedian with sitcom and film experience. He’s best known for “Def Comedy Jam,” “Uncle Buck,” and his stand-up comedy specials.
The talented cast also includes actors and actresses playing friends, family members, and coworkers. Here’s a guide to who’s who in the family:
Kim Fields is Regina Upshaw, the matriarch of the family as the wife of Bennie Sr. and mother to Bennie Jr., Aaliyah, and Maya. She works as a hospital administrator.
Mike Epps is Bernard Upshaw, Sr., the patriarch of the family who’s better known as Bennie. He was Regina’s high school sweetheart before they were married. He owns Bennie’s Garage and is a car mechanic.
Wanda Sykes is Regina’s older sister, Lucretia Turner, and often the source of comic relief.
Jermelle Simon is Bernard Upshaw, Jr., known as Bennie Jr. He is the eldest child of Regina and Bennie and has a strained relationship with his father. He currently works for UPS.
Khali Spraggins is Aaliyah Upshaw, the middle child and eldest daughter of Regina and Bennie.
Journey Christine is Maya Upshaw, the youngest child, and daughter of Regina and Bennie.
Gabrielle Dennis is Tasha Lewis, a neighborhood hairstylist and the woman whom Bennie had a relationship with when he thought he and Regina were on a break. She became pregnant at that time and is the mother of Kelvin.
Diamond Lyons is Kelvin Upshaw, the son of Bennie and Tasha and the half-brother of Bennie, Jr., Aaliyah, and Maya. He is the same age as Aaliyah, 13 years old, and they go to the same school.
Other recurring characters in “The Upshaws” include the following cast members:
- Page Kennedy is Duck. He’s a longtime friend of Bennie’s who works with him at the garage.
- Michel Estimé is Tony. He’s another friend and employee of Bennie’s.
- Dayna Dooley is Sheila. She is Regina’s boss at the hospital.
- Daria Johns is Savannah. She’s the eldest daughter’s (Aaliyah) best friend.
- Jessica Morris is Amy. She’s a friend of Regina’s.
- Leonard Earl Howze is Davis. He’s one of Bennie’s friends.
About the Creators of “The Upshaws”
Wanda Sykes is a hilarious stand-up comedian who’s also an actor, writer, and producer. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in marketing from Hampton University and began performing live stand-up comedy in Washington D.C. Her long career in entertainment has been a successful one as she’s appeared in many TV series and movies.
Her work has been recognized with several Primetime Emmy Award nominations. Sykes and fellow show writers won an Emmy for “The Chris Rock Show” in 1999. She also won the American Comedy Award for “Outstanding Female Stand-Up Comic” in 2001. Sykes co-created “The Upshaws” with Regina Y. Hicks as she supported showing a working-class family who loves each other, even if life is messy. In a recent interview, Sykes pointed out that the show represents how most of us are living right now.
“The Upshaws” is the first show that Regina Y. Hicks has co-created. Hicks is a writer and producer, known for her writing for “Camp Rock,” “Sista, Sista,” “Girlfriends,” and “Drumline: A New Beat.” She recently signed a multi-year deal with Netflix to create, write, and produce new series. Her next Netflix project is currently in the works. It’s going to be a new comedy series produced by Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company, Higher Grounds.
What Happened in the First Season of “The Upshaws?”
The biggest drama the Upshaw family had to face actually happened off-screen and years before season one. Regina and Bennie were struggling in their marriage, so they separated for a short time. During this period, Bennie connects with another woman in the neighborhood, Tasha Lewis, who ends up getting pregnant with a son. Regina and Bennie reconcile, and she becomes pregnant, too. Even though this drama happened over 13 years ago, the repercussions continue to affect the lives of the Upshaws as seen through the show’s first season.
Despite his earlier mistakes, Bennie is trying to be a good father to all his children and a good husband to Regina. He doesn’t always get it right though and gets thrown out of the house in episode seven after a big fight. Regina spends a lot of time on her family and career in season one. When she fails to get a promotion at work, she tries to get a better job elsewhere and pass the GMAT exam.
Bennie is back home by episode ten, but things are still tense between him and Regina. Season one ends on a cliffhanger when a little girl shows up claiming to be Bennie’s daughter.
Where Is “The Upshaws” Located?
“The Upshaws” is set in Indianapolis, the state capital of Indiana, but the show isn’t filmed on location. The sitcom was filmed on the Sunset Bronson Studios lot in Hollywood, California. Indianapolis was chosen because Mike Epps, producer, and actor who plays Bennie, is from the city. He wanted to show what life is like in the midwest of the U.S. and tell jokes about this area of the country.
Will There Be a Season 2 of “The Upshaws” Comedy Series?
Netflix renewed “The Upshaws” for another season in June 2021. The Upshaws season 2 will have more episodes than the first season but will still have the same 30-minute runtime. It’s expected there will be 16 episodes released in two parts instead of all at once. All the main characters are also expected to return for the second season. The first part of the season will include the following episodes, according to IMDB:
- Maybe Dabby
- Bennie’s Woman
- Testing, Testing
- Control Issues
- Duct Up
- New Growth
- Sista, Sista
- Goin’ In
There isn’t a confirmed release date for the first eight episodes of season two as of today, but they’re likely to premiere by the end of 2022.
Discover More About Your Favorite Movies and TV Shows on BuddyTV
American sitcom fans are likely to enjoy the Netflix original comedy series “The Upshaws.” The show deals with big issues but also provides plenty of comedy to ease the tone. The show’s creators and writers have made the main characters feel genuine, which makes it easier for viewers to relate to their lives. Tune into Netflix for more about the struggles and triumphs of the Upshaw family in season two.
BuddyTV is a great source for all the latest info about top sitcoms like “The Upshaws.” Check out more news about your favorite movies and shows on BuddyTV today.
(images courtesy of IMDb)
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV