Perhaps one of FOX's most underrated shows (next to Arrested Development), The Bernie Mac Show is a gem of a comedy series that panders to no one. Using parenting as a background (which comes off more sucessful here than on ABC's My Wife and Kids, but is still a well written comedy), the show goes off in wonderful tangents that make you laugh. The pilot episode started it off with the line "I'm going to beat them in the heads until the white stuff shows." Not a line Ward Cleaver or Bill Cosby would've said, but is none the less a brilliant, and uncomfortable truth for many parents. The kids are three dimensional and don't spout sitcom cliches. Camille Winbush's Vanessa is every teenage girl who suddenly finds her world rocked, and hates every minute she spends with her Uncle, while the talented Jeremy Suarez is a perfect foil for Bernie. Even Dee Dee Davis, playing the youngest sibling, Bryana has more dimensions than most of the cast of Three and Half Men. The show is cleverly written and its great to see a "parent" on a TV show not know all the answers (which is, of course, the reason why Kellita Smith as Bernie's wife Wanda is there. She knows those kids, and knows their problems and knows, eventually, that Bernie will learn his lessons).
Like AD, Bernie Mac is shows what happens when creative freedom is given to a show. FOX may think in demographics, but Bernie Mac is one of those rare shows that crosses over to everyone. And that, I think, confuses them.
can't wait for season two on DVD.