Sitcoms have always seemed to have a relatively standard formula, which included the long-suffering father, the nosy neighbor and the adorable yet mischievous children. The Netflix sitcom The Upshaws includes some of those tropes, but as it kicks off its second season this month, truly shows itself to be a sitcom for the next generation. Under the watchful eye of Co-Executive Producer and Co-Creator Wanda Sykes, The Upshaws weaves hilarious and familiar sitcom writing with social issues that are happening in homes all over America today. Jermelle Simon plays oldest Upshaws son Bernard Jr, and is truly one of the standout performers in this star packed sitcom (the show includes both Mike Epps and Kim Fields). Bernard is gay and just beginning to come out to his family, with the first season starting to tell the story of Bernard coming out to the rest of his family.
Season 1 didn’t just introduce the sometimes complicated relationships between the Upshaw family members, it also had an especially poignant moment between Jermelle Simon and Kim Fields, when Simon’s character Bernard officially comes out to his mother. Simon told WeAreEntertainmentNews that this was one of his favorite scenes of the show so far. He said “Bernard’s coming out scene with Kim Fields’ character was probably my favorite. It was written perfectly. It showcased a mother’s love. It wasn’t traumatic. A child tells his mother, ‘I’m gay’ and she says ‘It’s fine. I don’t care. I love you.’ For us to have that on-screen on an all-black sitcom is amazing. People need more love, you know? People need to see that. People need to feel that especially people of color and black people. I have received so many DMs and messages from young black men, saying that I helped them come out to their parents. Or they thought being gay was a horrible thing but seeing the show helped them love and accept themself. I am humbled and honored to be a part of this show”.
A quick look at Simon’s Instagram will show you that other than acting on one of the most buzzed-about sitcoms on Netflix today, Simon is all about that fitness, so much so that he created his own fitness app J. Rambo Hit. After starting work of his own with a personal trainer, Simon became addicted to the feeling he was having when working out. He was inspired to finding a way to provide that to others, and started teaching classes of his own. Zoom classes slowly morphed into the app, and he started dong pre-recorded content, which enables people to workout whenever they are able to.
Follow Jermelle Simon on Instagram