Monday, August 17, 2009

Sons of Tucson

Its that time of year again, when all the fall tv pilots start to leak out into the general population, and having already reviewed "The Cleveland Show" I figured I would keep that ball rolling by reviewing the upcoming series "Sons of Tucson", seeing as word got out today that the pilot is available on the internet.

Here is the official description from
In the tradition of "Malcolm in the Middle" and "The Bernie Mac Show," Sons of Tucson is a family comedy about three brothers who hire a charming, wayward schemer to stand in as their father when their real one goes to prison. What begins as a business relationship evolves into something more complex and compelling: a family unlike any we've ever seen. The three brothers find their dad-for-hire, Ron Snuffkin (Tyler Labine, "Reaper"), at the local sporting good store. Ron will be forced to draw on a wide array of skills and a vast bag of tricks as he steps into the patriarch role to take care of the boys of the Gunderson family. Robby Gunderson, 8, is a loose cannon who doesn't take garbage from anyone; Gary Gunderson (Frank Dolce, "Doubt"), 11, is a bright and street-savvy leader who is every bit the con man his father is; and Brandon Gunderson, 13, is a gentle free spirit who goes along for the ride.

While Sons of Tucson is grounded in the day-to-day challenges of a single-parent home, nothing in the Gunderson household is quite what it seems. An ongoing chess match between Ron and the boys will keep both parties on their toes, as neither side can afford to give up too much power or independence. Sons of Tucson is directed by three-time Emmy Award-winner Todd Holland ("Malcolm in the Middle," "The Larry Sanders Show") and produced by 20th Century Fox Television. Justin Berfield, Jason Felts, Harvey Myman and Todd Holland serve as executive producers. Tommy Dewey and Greg Bratman wrote the pilot.

Now, as is often the case with network synopses, don't take it at its word, often times a network will package a show to try and grab the viewers of former shows that they think it might appeal too, hence why it they reference two of their former shows, and how they mention Tyler's starring role on Reaper. It doesn't really tell you much of the show in general, but it tries to give you just a hint of what it is, so don't let that really be your judge.

Here is abit more descriptive plot outline of the series:

The Gunderson children are left on their own when their father is sent to jail for an investment banking scandal, after their mother leaves them alone to fend for themselves, they make their way from new jersey to Tucson Arizona, where their father owned a home and a large amount of cash that was kept hidden in case he was ever caught. Things are great for them, until it becomes time for them to start school again. There is only one issue, they need an adult to get them signed up for school. After what they say was a long time, they scope out and decide on a down on his luck guy who works at a sports store named Ron. Ron is a slacker, who lives in his car, owes money to thugs and will do anything to get out of work but still make money. After they work out a deal for him to pose as their dad, he agrees to help them for a fee of afew hundred dollars.

He signs the kids up at school and they pay him, he then tells them they need to pretend to be his kids so he can convince his grandmother to give him some valuable collectible figures he is going to sell to make the money he owes a local thug who keeps threatening him, the kids say they'll help him, but in the end, they just steal his car. He finds them at their house and after saying they really need him around, which the three dismiss and insult him on, he leaves with his car. After the youngest of the Gunderson boys blows up an outdoor fair, they show up again telling Ron they need his help again, and after they pay him they head over to the school where they go, Ron cons his way out of the boy being expelled from school, and tries to flirt with his teacher. As the show goes on through a series of events, the boys and Ron keep needing each other's help, and after realizing that it would be alot easier on all of them if they were to pay Ron and allow him to live in their home, or well, the shed out behind the house, the pilot ends after Ron's moved into their shed and has to go deal with the parents of a girl the youngest boy almost burned in his explosion.

Now see, the pilot isn't *BAD*, but its also *not good* either, there are alot of plot holes, mostly when and why the boy's mother left them, and why no one noticed when they went missing from New Jersey, or how they were able to travel across the country by themselves with no one reporting or noticing them. As well as how Ron, after stealing some young girl's bike apparently, was able to find where the boys lived, when they stated at the school earlier they walked from there to the school, there are afew other small issues, but nothing to really ruin the show I think.

So here is my biggest issue with this series, its good, it could go on to have a long run, but the problem is, we've seen it already. Its kind of like Malcolm In the Middle, but instead of the mother being a super bitch, its one of the children, infact all three of the Gunderson kids are alot like the boys on Malcolm, one is creepy and super hyper, the other is quiet and peaceful, and the other is angry and bossy, its an almost exact copy. And as for Ron, as a character he's great, but the thing is, Tyler Labine plays him EXACTLY like he played Sock on "Reaper", snappy pop culture references and slang, slacking off while everyone else does his job for him, even the boss at the store he works in is ALOT like his boss on Reaper. So like I said the show isn't a bad show, its pretty good in some spots and will probably have a nice run if FOX doesn't mess it up, its just nothing new, nothing different or fresh, its just reworking of winning concepts from other shows. I was just hoping it would be original, or atleast different in some way. But as I said, I think it'll do well, hopefully in the right timeslot, I was kind of hoping for the hour long format too, I've been saying this for years, the 30 minute comedy medium is dying out, very few non-formula three camera sitcoms remain, but still, I kind of hope they expand the show, it could actually save it at some point..

anyway, go check it out if you're interested, you might enjoy it.



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