The Last O.G. represents the big return of Tracy Morgan to television following his life-changing and near-fatal accident in 2014 that left him out of the public eye for almost a year. The series follows Morgan's character Tray, an ex-con released from prison after a 15-year stint for drug dealing, as he returns to Brooklyn to find it — and life — is nothing like it was when he was locked up. It's something he can relate to given his own life changes.
"You gotta understand, I've been through transition, I just got a second chance at my life," Morgan told TV Guide. "So I'm at home watching Lockup Raw, and I'm seeing all these incarcerated people. And I'm like, 'Wow, imagine them coming out of the system in this world. They want a second chance.' We tend to throw people away if they have a record, they don't get jobs, and we can't do that."
It's a serious subject that The Last O.G. handles well, and with Morgan's voice at the center, handles with insightful humor. See, it's not just that Tray has to start from the bottom again and with people judging him because he just got out of jail, it's that the world has changed while he was inside. That change is especially apparent in neighborhoods that have been gentrified and adopted as hipster hangouts, much like Brooklyn has transformed into over the past two decades.
Not only that, but the people he once knew back in the day have changed, too. His girlfriend of the past, Shay (Tiffany Haddish), has moved on and that's the one thing in Tray's past that hurts the most.
"Shay is feeling all kinds of insecurity and concerns, because she doesn't really necessarily want her children to be exposed to the type of lifestyle that he lived, and she doesn't know if he's changed, she doesn't know if he's reformed," Haddish told TV Guide. "You know how dudes be like, 'I'm different now, I'm a different person,' and you find out they still be doing that same old crap. She has worked really hard to provide her children with a whole different lifestyle than what she grew up with."
But Shay has a surprise or two for Tray that he isn't ready for that changes everything. One, she has two kids, and two, she has a new man in her life... and it's a white guy, which doesn't sit well with Tray.
"The hardest thing is seeing her with somebody else," Morgan says of his character. "And you will see that, when I'm looking at what I lost, right in front of me. Right in front of me."
That motivation of seeing what he's lost fuels Tray, much like Morgan is eager to return to television after nearly dying years earlier. And as the studious and driven Tray succeeds when we thought he didn't stand a chance, we see a rejuvenated Morgan admirably do the same on our television screens.
The Last O.G. premieres Tuesday, Apr. 3 at 10:30/9:30c.