The revival of ’90s Black sitcoms means a lot of older shows have made it back into mainstream public consciousness by gaining a new life on streaming platforms. One of those shows is “Martin,” and star Tisha Campbell is now fielding questions about a possible reboot.
Campbell, who co-starred with creator Martin Lawrence on the program as his girlfriend Gina, recently spoke to “Entertainment Tonight” about the show’s legacy and if the beloved sitcom has a chance of actually coming back with new episodes.
The notion of a reboot wasn’t even possible until Lawrence and Campbell reconciled in 2018 decades after she filed a suit against him alleging sexual harassment on the set of the show, after which the pair didn’t communicate for years.
They finally reunited after Campbell filed for divorce from husband Duane Martin that year.
“I hadn’t seen him since the last day of the show, and I literally screamed,” she recalled. “I was like, ‘Oh my god, I’m so happy to talk to you.’”
During their phone call, Campbell said she and Lawrence “got to talk, apologize, love on one another. We were laughing at the end of it. We got to start appreciating everything that we’ve all been through.”
“That’s what I think really life is all about,” she continued. “You go through these dark moments, and at the time you don’t really realize that is something that is needed to uplift you and make you bigger and better.”
Concerning the chances of the show returning to air, while sitcoms like “Full House,” “Mad About You,” “Roseanne,” and “Will & Grace” have all received the reboot treatment, as of yet no new episodes have been ordered from any of the classic Black programs of those eras.
While Campbell said the cast would like to return, there are several factors making the realization of that idea somewhat difficult.
“We are trying to. It’s so hard to say,” she said. “One, Tommy’s not here. (Actor Thomas Ford passed away in October 2016.) And the other thing is the schedule. It literally falls down to schedule. Every single one of us, thank God, is still working.”
Despite the uncertainty, Campbell said it was heartening that “people are gravitating to the show even more.” Martin has endured, she explained, “because they just want levity. They wanna laugh.”
She added, “We made an impact and it was a big thing for us. And I do not take it lightly. I’m still grateful that I could ease and heal people with laughter.”
Thinking back on her time on the show, Campbell said no one was aware of how significant Martin was to a generation of viewers.
“There were so many Black shows going on at the time. What was important was that there were two young African-American people who were in love,” she said.
“Now, we had The Cosby Show representation. But we really [never] had two young people who were having fun, discovering each other, discovering life. I think that is [why] there are so many songs about Martin and Gina.”