Courtney Rose (Hall) is an aspiring rapper in Fort Grey, California, who launches a joke campaign to for Mayor in the hopes that it will drum up some interest in his music. But, a surprisingly strong showing during the election debate sparks genuine interest from the citizens of Fort Grey and Courtney suddenly finds himself winning the election and having to step up and take responsibility for his hometown. With the help of the Val Barella (Michele), his chipper Chief of Staff, the support of Dina (Brown), his mother, and the questionable contributions of Jermaine and TK, his two best friends, Courtney starts to learn how to work within and around the system to try and bring good changes to those who put their trust in him.
Despite decent ratings and good reception, the show was cancelled following its first season.
This series provides examples of:
- Christmas Episode: "Grey Christmas". Courtney struggles to honor a promise to keep a family shelter in operation and goes through a It's a Wonderful Plot when he thinks he hasn't made a difference as mayor.
- Dumb Is Good: T.K. is easily the dimmest member of the cast and consistently upbeat and friendly to others.
- Freudian Excuse: Courtney says he took to music because of the elementary school's program. He admits to being a bad, sarcastic student that most had no patience for, but then the music teacher congratulated him for doing his best at a recital.
- Freudian Trio: Jermaine is the Id, being more interested in changing the system and getting instant results. (T.K. fills in if Jermaine's not around.) Val is the Superego, constantly trying to get the group to play to the system. Courtney is the Ego, trying to balance both and do whatever is required to affect change.
- General Ripper: Police Chief Fox advocates for the city's cops to be as tough as possible to deter crime. Courtney wants to soften the police's approach but comes to realize that she does have a point.
- Halloween Episode: "City Hall-oween"
- Hidden Depths: Val is an expert markswoman, much to the others' surprise and fear.
- Indy Ploy: Deconstructed in "The Filibuster" when Courtney promises to get funding for the elementary school's music program. The problem is that there is no funding, little time to tinker with the proposed budget, and the council isn't willing to budge. Everything tried fails, and it takes a Hail Mary for Courtney to make good on his promise.
- It's a Wonderful Plot: In "Grey Christmas", Courtney doubts he's accomplished anything as mayor and thinks he'd have been better off sticking to his music. An angel that looks like his mother shows him a world where he was never mayor, but the campaign gave him the publicity for a successful music career. Gunt is mayor and completely corrupt, with Val as his cold-hearted chief of staff. With no jobs at city hall, T.K. and Jermaine embarked on a ridiculous business plan and lost everything; they also resent Courtney for ditching them to go on tour. As a joke, we also briefly see life if Courtney had never been born at all, and Dina is shown having a very active social life.
- Nice Guy: Courtney to a fault, which often puts him at a disadvantage when dealing with Gunt and other politicians.
- Red Herring: In the pilot, Courtney plans a block party meant to campaign for cleaning up the City Commons. Val warns him it will be a disaster if he doesn't get a permit. At the party, Val asks if he got the permit and Courtney acts like he forgot before demonstrating he did. Instead, the real conflict is Courtney suddenly getting a call telling him his rap career is finally taking off.
- Rousseau Was Right: After going through his It's a Wonderful Plot, Courtney encounters an on-location reporter. He gives a speech on live TV about how even a small action can make a positive difference and says he's going to do whatever he can to help out at the local family shelter. Everyone that sees his speech takes it to heart, leading to the shelter being packed with volunteers offering food, gifts, and other assistance. Even Gunt shows up to chip in.
- Sarcasm-Blind: T.K. to almost absurd degrees.
- Sitcom Archnemesis: Ed Gunt takes unashamed pleasure at countering Courtney's every move simply out of spite.
- Springtime for Hitler: The show's central concept. Courtney ran for mayor to gain some publicity for his music career but his sudden moment of seriousness during his debate against Ed Gunt got people paying attention to him and picking him on the ballot.
- Those Two Guys: Jermaine and TK are rarely seen apart and spend most of their screen time bouncing inane ideas off of each other.
- Tough Love: Val does this in "The Filibuster" by telling Courtney that he has the power to veto the City Council's proposed budget but not that they can override him. She wanted to teach him a lesson about knowing the rules of the system. It works out in the end, but Courtney reminds her that as his chief of staff, she can't play games like that and has to tell him everything even if he doesn't want to hear it.
- Two Roads Before You: In the pilot, Courtney can either fulfill his dream of a rap career or buckle down as the newly elected mayor. It's not exactly a surprise which he picks.
- The Unapologetic: What "Here Comes the Governor" ultimately builds to. Courtney is expected to apologize for an old rap song he and his friends did in which they denounce the government. Courtney initially intends to apologize (as that would get him in good with the Governor), but Jermaine and T.K. remind him why they did that song: that they were angry about politicans who often make big promises about fixing things and rarely even try to make good. At the press conference, Courtney gives a speech where he formally won't apologize for his song by explaining that he can't pretend that things are better when they're not.
- Yet Another Christmas Carol: "Grey Christmas" does this as a joke during the end credits. Passed out drunk in his office, Gunt is visited by the same angel as before and told his soul needs to be whipped into shape. Gunt says this happens every Christmas and lists the different things he's been put through, clearly not having learned anything. The angel ultimately concludes he's "for downstairs" and leaves.