|again with the "awkward family photo"|
style poster. Perhaps the best use of it in
a while, but this trend has got to die.
Hell, if people can stop using the
vocorder/digital tuning then surely this
style of promo poster can cease too...
The show's premise seems like it was extruded from my own brain... Zorn is an animated a He-Man analogue (voiced by Jason Sudekis) who has been estranged from his son for nearly a decade fighting battles in the island of Zephyria. He's returning to Orange County (a real, non-animated environment, populated with real, non-animated people) for his son's birthday. There he reunites with his ex-wife Edie (Cheryl Hines) and meets her new husband, an on-line college professor, Craig (Tim Meadows!), but can't seem to connect with his son, Alan (short for Alanguilan, naturally... played by a seriously aged-down Johnny Pemberton). Zorn is a warrior, a barbarian, and Alan is scrawny, and a vegan no less, there's not much in the way of common ground.
It's a classic sit-com fish-out-of-water trope, but with added levels. Having an animated character invade a real-world setting has inherently comedic value, making it a homage to a beloved 80's cartoon (there's some deep-seeded Masters of the Universe references in there that only fans would catch) just steps it up a notch. But the show doesn't just rest upon its weirdness. It's attempting to have some substance to its characters while also having more than just (many, many) clever visual gags up its sleeve. There's dimensions to the comedy, thankfully.
And yet, it's not a success right out the gate. There's definite potential, but, if anything, it's too reserved in using its conceit, where it should be using it took hook especially in the pilot. There's not enough foundation to Zorn. Intrinsically we're supposed to assume the aggressive alpha male, but if he's a He-Man analogue (particularly one satirizing 1980's kid-shows), he should be moralistic and almost gratingly compassionate. Instead, the show's going more head-on with the violent barbarian angle, like a refugee from Axe Cop. We should spend more time with Zorn in Zephyria, getting a sense of what his regular life has been like (we get the sense that it's been full-on war, and he loves it, but that seems too obvious). Hopefully the show will subvert expectations of who Zorn is, as well as who Alan is. I already love the way the show's subverted the usual "new husband" dynamic with Craig.
Definite promise, but it could fall spectacularly flat.