For Better or Worse is a half hour, adult-oriented sitcom that premiered on November 25, 2011, on the then newly launched OWN (“Oprah Winfrey Network”). Billed as a continuation of the theatrical movie “Why Did I Get Married?” and follow up movie “Why Did I Get Married Too?” both the series, as well as the movies, are the brain children of popular director, producer, and actor Tyler Perry. The series just finished airing the ten episodes of its fifth season on May 27, 2016. Following up on the movie the viewer is taken even deeper into the turbulent lives of the main characters. We pick up where the movie left off, and see that all is not well. The events that unfolded in the movie, and were brought to the surface, are seen here to be dealt with and handled. After the many revelations in the movie, and the added popularity of the storylines, it was almost assured that Perry would find a way to keep his fans entertained and tuned in.
In season five, we see Marcus (Michael Jai White) and Angela (Tasha Smith), who from their initial introduction, had more than their fair share of problems, have another one added into the mix. They have found out that Marcus has another daughter. During a long trying period of coming to terms with this revelation, they decide that it might be time, and the best thing, to expand their family. Also featured are Joseph (Jason Olive) and Leslie (Crystle Stewart) who are dealing with the ups and downs of the rollercoaster ride called marriage. They find that navigating the various twists and turns involved in the everyday life of being married is not for the faint of heart. Finally, we see Jennifer (Cocoa Brown) and Richard (Kent Faulcon) through the teaming up and forming an unsteady alliance come to the conclusion that, like it or not, all things happen for a reason. The viewer is taken along on the adventure of this close knit group of friends as they learn that nothing in life if promised, let alone a given.
As of this writing, the series is on indefinite hiatus, with its fate to be determined at a later date. Looking at the rating for the series does nothing to reassure one of a return. With a very discouraging rating of 4.2 out of 10 on the IMDB site, and paltry rating of 50% on Rotten Tomatoes, one may wonder if the hiatus is just a prelude to an inevitable outcome—cancellation. If the demographics were to be believed, this series resonated with a very specific audience. For Better or Worse has been heralded as the #1 Friday night series among all its competitors with African American women, as well as the #2 Friday night choice among all its competitors with African American viewers in general. Factoring in that the series also ranked #2 on Friday nights schedule of original cable series with women 25-54, it would appear that maybe there is just not the diversity and numbers of viewers watching to help this series survive. The original take of the series was most probably bolstered by Perry’s name being attached to the project, and his bringing along his legion of devoted fans. But, as the ratings show, that alone is not going to help this series to remain on the air.
Having just finished up its fifth season, you can catch the episodes in reruns over on OWN. For seasons one through four, head on over to iTunes or Amazon.com to get them on download.
Do you feel the series will return for a sixth season? And if so, what new struggles and challenges do you see the main characters facing? If you do not think it will return, why? Could it be that the viewership has had enough of these characters, and are ready to move on to something new by Perry?
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