Friday, October 28, 2011

Fox Fall Pilot Review: Allen Gregory - Premieres October 30; Sitcom Stars On Talk Shows (Week of October 31, 2011)

Allen Gregory

Allen Gregory - Sundays 8:30PM ET/PT on Fox
Premieres Sunday, October 30, 2011 at 8:30PM ET/PT

Allen Gregory De Longpre is just your ordinary seven-year-old. Well, that actually depends upon how you define "ordinary." Having grown up in a wealthy two-parent (both parents being male) household, things have started to change for him as one of his fathers can no longer afford to home school him, and it is time for him to make the transition to a public school. But being unable to relate to other seven-year-olds (or other people in general, for that matter), that transition isn't going to be easy. He's a little advanced for his age in some areas, yet in other areas, he is just completely clueless about the world around him. In this new Fox animated sitcom, he'll try to adjust to his new world--at least to the best of his ability.

Cast Details:

Jonah Hill as Allen Gregory DeLongpre
French Stewart as Richard DeLongpre, Allen's father
Nat Faxon as Jeremy DeLongpre, Richard's life partner-husband
Joy Osmanski as Julie, Allen's adopted Cambodian sister
Renée Taylor as Principal Gottlieb
Leslie Mann as Gina Winthrop

Jonah Hill (Allen Gregory) is the star of the series, the kid trying to adapt to a life where he isn't the center of the universe. Hill is well-known in the entertainment industry, most notable with his film roles in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Evan Almighty, and Superbad.

French Stewart (Richard) plays the role Allen Gregory's father in the series. Stewart has had roles in series including The New WKRP in Cincinnati, Seinfeld, and Pushing Daisies, but is best known for his role as Harry Solomon on the series 3rd Rock from the Sun.

Nat Faxon (Jeremy) is Richard's life-partner/husband in the series. Faxon is a relative newcomer to the entertainment industry, but has appeared in The Cleveland Show and the movie Beerfest.

Joy Osmanski (Julie) plays the role of Allen Gregory's adopted sister from Cambodia. Osmanski's most well-known role was on the series The Loop, which aired for two seasons on Fox, but she has also appeared in Samantha Who? and Better Off Ted.

Renée Taylor (Principal Gottlieb) plays the role of the elderly and unattractive principal that Allen Gregory is romantically attracted to. While Taylor's name may not be so recognizable, her career has been lengthy and impressive, primarily as a writer and director. But TV (particularly sitcom) fans will recognize her from her role of Sylvia Fine, the mother of Fran Drescher's character on the sitcom The Nanny.

Leslie Mann (Gina Winthrop) plays the role of Allen Gregory's teacher. Mann is the wife of well-known producer Judd Apatow (who has also done much work with Jonah Hill), and has appeared in many of his films, including The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up.

Pilot Plot:

The pilot begins with a party for Allen Gregory to celebrate his big victory: he has just won a Tony Award! Except... not really. The party was put together by his father, Richard, and Richard's life partner Jeremy in an attempt to ease the bad news that is about to come. He's no longer going to be home-schooled and will be sent to a public school.

It doesn't take long to realize that this new environment is going to be a major adjustment for Allen Gregory. Accustomed to a world that revolves around him and everybody catering to every one of his whims, he is now just one among many, and the adaptations are difficult. He begins the school day by trying to do an uninvited "Q&A session" for the class to get to know him, proceeds to seat himself at the "cool kids" table in the cafeteria (where he also brings a bottle of wine), and ends up in the elderly and, well, ugly principal's office, where he even proceeds to try to make romantic moves on her. And to top it all off, he, well, defecates in his pants and ends up going home crying. Just how will he adapt to his new school if this is how his first day went?


In viewing the pilot, I can already see some major problems with this series. It is basically just another fish-out-of-water animated comedy that seems to focus on the mere act of adjustment, and I'm not sure how this series can go on from there. Will every episode of the series be about another day at school? I feel that there is limited potential to where this can go, and I'm not sure how the series can handle that.

But that is far from the only problem that I saw in the pilot. Simply put, although the pilot was mildly enjoyable, it just really wasn't that funny in my opinion. There were a few mildly humorous moments, such as when Allen Gregory was trying to make the moves on his principal, but it wasn't one of those situations that was just completely hilarious. I was hoping for so much more in that regard.

I also would have liked to have seen more about the other members of the family, such as the "two dads" and Allen Gregory's adopted sister, Julie. In fact, it was hard to even remember that Julie existed in the pilot. She had very few lines and was almost seen as an afterthought, yet there is so much more that could (and should) have been done with her character. Yet that opportunity seemed to be wasted. Even though the series is called Allen Gregory and is supposed to focus on him, it sometimes seemed like he really was the only person in the world.


Unfortunately, I feel that Fox has once again fallen flat on another animated comedy. They have attempted so many of these over the years, yet it seems that lately, only the Seth MacFarlane series have really shown any level of enjoyment and success. I don't predict this series lasting too long, and even if it does, I can easily see it becoming one of the 7 PM hour series that just seems to air, yet nobody really cares about it. Perhaps if the series had some way of broadening the series instead of making it all about Allen Gregory's universe (even though that is supposed to be the premise of the series) and making it a bit funnier, there would be fewer problems with the series, but I feel that it is already dead in the water--and will only win awards like Allen Gregory's fake Tony award that he won in the beginning of the pilot.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 3/5
Funniness: 2.5/5
Overall: 3/5

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 10/28/11

Discuss the show after you watch it on Sunday, October 30 on our message board.

Related Links:

  • Official Site
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Allen Gregory Photo Gallery

  • Preview:

    It's Friday, so it is time for "Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows" for the coming week. This is where we list what sitcom stars are appearing on talk shows for the coming week, the stars are both current and past sitcom stars, so this is for all sitcom fans of all eras!
    For the week of October 24-28, 2011, we have many current sitcom stars and past sitcom stars on TV talk shows! All times listed are Eastern. So get your DVR's (or whatever you use) ready! Ready? Here is all what you need to know for the coming week!

    Monday, October 31, 2011
    • Zooey Deschanel (New Girl) - Watch the adorable Zooey on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
    • Mindy Kaling (The Office) - Mindy appears on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart at 11pm.
    • Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother/Doogie Howser, M.D.) - Neil stops by The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check listings.
    Tuesday, November 1, 2011
    • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Catch Whitney on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
    • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock/The Tracy Morgan Show) - Tracy drops by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:37am on NBC.
    Wednesday, November 2, 2011
    • Ellen DeGeneres (The Ellen Show) - Watch Ellen on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 12am on ABC.
    • Ted Danson (Cheers/Becker) - Ted visits the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
    • Mindy Kaling (The Office) - Mindy talks about her book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), on NBC's Today between 9-10am and later chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
    • Bill Cosby (The Cosby Show/Cosby/The Bill Cosby Show) - Bill discuss his book, I Didn't Ask to Be Born: (But I'm Glad I Was), on NBC's Today between 7-9am and 10-11am.
    Thursday, November 3, 2011
    • Alan Alda (M*A*S*H) - Catch Alan on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
    • Miranda Cosgrove (iCarly) - Miranda visits Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
    • Louis C.K. (Louie) - Louis drops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
    • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock/The Tracy Morgan Show) - Tracy continues to make the rounds on The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
    • Katie Aselton (The League) - Katie appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
    Friday, November 4, 2011
    • Bill Cosby (The Cosby Show/Cosby/The Bill Cosby Show) - Watch the legendary Mr. Cosby on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
    • Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother/Doogie Howser, M.D.) - Neil is a guest on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
    • Drew Carey (The Drew Carey Show) - Drew appears on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:37am on NBC.
    • Florence Henderson (The Brady Bunch) - Florence stops by The Rosie Show at 7pm on OWN and will also be on Tavis Smiley on PBS, but check listings for time.
    • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
    • Michael J. Fox (Family Ties/Spin City) - Michael visits LIVE! with Regis & Kelly, so check your listings.
    • Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory/Roseanne) - Johnny drops by The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check listings.
    • Alan Alda (M*A*S*H) - Alan wraps up his appearances this week on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
    Leave us comments on our message board or Tweet/Facebook us to let us know what you think of this Friday feature! We do listen!

    New on DVD/Blu-ray (September)

    The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season Modern Family - The Complete Season 7

    09/06 - Coach - Season One (Mill Creek) / Season Two / Seasons One and Two
    09/06 - South Park - The Complete Ninteenth Season (Blu-ray)
    09/13 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season (Blu-ray)
    09/13 - Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season
    09/20 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season
    09/20 - Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season
    09/20 - Modern Family - The Complete Season 7
    09/20 - Veep - Season 5
    09/27 - The Wonder Years - Season Six
    More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest

    Sitcoms Airing Tonight

    Friday, October 21

    Last Man Standing - "Trick or Treat" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
    It’s Halloween and the Baxter family is excited for their annual party, except for Mike who’s reluctantly tasked with choosing the theme. In hopes of turning everyone against the holiday, Mike decides that maybe if the whole family has to dress up like each other they’ll end up making fun of one another. Eve dresses up like Mandy and Mandy dresses down like Eve, Kristin and Ryan swap roles, and Mike shows up to the party as… Donald Trump!? The impersonating turns into bickering but in the end, the Baxters come together to support Vanessa as she learns that she’s being laid off.

    Dr. Ken - "D.K.'s Korean Ghost Story" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
    On Halloween, Allison is disappointed the holiday doesn’t seem to scare Dave anymore, meaning her little boy is growing up, perhaps too fast. But that might change after D.K. tells a scary Korean gwishin (ghost) story. The Park family, as well as the gang at Welltopia, bring the story to life playing the various gwishins.

    Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse - "Jack" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
    Marcus deals with the loss of one of his former teammates.

    Complete TV Listings

    Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 17)

    Friday, October 21

    • Matthew Perry (The Odd Couple/Go On/Mr. Sunshine) - Watch Matthew on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
    • Jerry Seinfeld (Seinfeld) - Jerry appears on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
    • Matt LeBlanc (Man with a Plan/Episodes/Joey/Friends) - Matt is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
    • Elijah Wood (Wilfred) - Elijah talks about Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings. He will also be on the AOL Build Show at 1:15pm.
    • Lindsay Sloane (The Odd Couple/The Stones/Mr. Rhodes) - Lindsay visits Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
    • Tom Hanks (Bosom Buddies) and Ron Howard (Happy Days/The Andy Griffith Show) - Tom and Ron will be on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
    • Christian Slater (Breaking In) - Christian talks about King Cobra on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
    • Anna Camp (The Mindy Project) - Anna talks about Netflix's Good Girls Revolt on NBC's Today in the 10am hour. She will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
    • Jennifer Grey (Red Oaks/It's Like, You Know...) - Jennifer joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
    • Thomas Lennon (The Odd Couple/Sean Saves the World/Reno 911!) and Jason Biggs (Mad Love/Drexell's Class) - Thomas and Jason are guests on Chelsea on Netflix.
    • Marisa Tomei (A Different World) - Marisa appears on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
    • Paul Reiser (Red Oaks/Mad About You/The Paul Reiser Show) - Paul is a guest on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.