Awkwafina is Nora From Queens has one of the most enjoyable comedy pilots in a long time. Nothing about the start of the Awkwafina-led Comedy Central series comes across as it finding its footing. The comedy was confident from frame one of a very promising first season. Comedy Central’s high hopes for the series is already paying off, too, because it’s one of their biggest hits in years.
The Ratings Are In!
On Wednesday, January 22nd, the premiere of Nora From Queens had a total of 489,000 viewers, making it Comedy Central’s most-watched series premiere since 2018. The show is a hit especially with women between 18-49. It generated conversation like few comedies are on social media. There were in the neighborhood of 40,000 posts across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram the night of the debut. It’s the most buzz a Comedy Central show has drawn since 2016.
Yes Please to a Second Season
Comedy Central announced a second season even before the premiere, which is always a sign of intense confidence. Their instincts were correct. The half-hour scripted comedy is inspired by Awkwafina’s experience growing up in Queens, New York. She once even wrote a book about her life in the city and favorite spots. On the show, she lives with her dad (BD Wong) and grandmother (Lori Tan Chinn). At the beginning of her journey, she’s 27, jobless, still living at home, and enjoys smoking weed and hoarding. This show will hit close to home for too many…
Comedy Central’s co-heads of original content, Sarah Babineau and Jonas Larsen, are over the moon about the end result and expressed their excitement in their season two announcement:
“We are in awe of Awkwafina’s creative genius on every level and we could not be more excited to embark on a season two with the entire Lin family in Awkwafina is Nora From Queens.”
No Stopping Awkwafina
The show’s early success isn’t surprising, though, given the draw of Awkwafina. Despite being recently robbed of an Academy Award nomination for The Farewell, the actress gave one of the most realistic and watchable performances last year, nearly stole Crazy Rich Asians, and was good fun in Ocean’s 8. Plus, she’s an excellent lyricist and entertaining rapper, which is how she first got noticed for her talent.
Awkwafina’s last album, “In Fina We Trust,” was her finest hour as an artist. Perfect for the gym, perfect for laughs, and perfect for the enjoyment of good beats. Just all-around fun and movie-star charisma on the album.
Next up, we’ll see Awkwafina’s career only go bigger with a voice role in The Little Mermaid, a part in Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon, and a major part in Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Only a couple of years into her acting career, Awkwafina has shown remarkable range from The Farewell to Nora From Queens. She also already has her own style of comedy or “brand,” if you will, that’s fresh and new and charismatic.
A Great Pilot
Audiences and critics are already fans of the show, which opened with Awkwafina ascending into heaven and not vibing with God (voiced by Laverne Cox) from the get-go, so it immediately got off to a great start.
The laughs remained consistent throughout the clever and stylish premiere. Everything felt right. Already from one episode, Nora and her family are loveable, like characters almost straight out of Coen brothers’ movie. The first episode leaves audiences wanting more of Nora’s family as well as more laughs. After Comedy Central’s last great half-hour comedy went off the air, Broad City, it’s exciting they already have another comedy to watch and talk about.