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Mark-Paul Gosselaar

Race and ethnic punchlines don't work in tired 'Truth Be Told'

Race and ethnic punchlines don't work in tired 'Truth Be Told'

For all the semi-annual talk about the death of the sitcom, shows such as "Last Man on Earth," "You're the Worst" and Internet-based imports like "Catastrophe" are proving that with a bit of nudging against convention, there's life in the format yet.

Then there's "Truth Be Told," which premieres Friday on NBC. Seemingly beamed from a parallel universe where "Seinfeld" never went off the air and laugh tracks are still useful, this newcomer desperately wants to live up to its name by addressing how we think about race and ethnicity in carefully managed, 21-minute doses.

The best of comedy addresses what makes us...

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