Friday, September 23, 2016

Fox Fall Pilot Review: Son of Zorn - Second Episode Airs Sunday, Sept. 25; Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of September 26, 2016)

Uncle Buck
Son of Zorn - Sundays at 8:30PM ET/PT on FOX
Premiered Sunday, September 11, 2016 at 8:00PM ET/PT


by Skees

Zorn is the warrior who has everything that a man could want... well, almost everything. While he spends almost all of his time in his animated kingdom of Zephyria, he has an ex-wife and son back home in California, and he visits his son on the weekend. At least on the weekend every couple of years. In his most recent trip back to California, he has discovered that his ex-wife Edie has moved on to a new romance that doesn't include him, and even worse, his son Alangulon (aka Alan) is now a teenager, and there seems to be no room in his life for his estranged father anymore.

Cast Details:

Jason Sudeikis as the voice of Zorn     
Johnny Pemberton as Alan
Cheryl Hines as Edie
Tim Meadows as Craig
Artemis Pebdani as Linda

Jason Sudeikis (Zorn) is the only star of the series who never actually appears on camera (since his character his animated), but his voice can be heard in each and every episode. Sudeikis came to fame by being hired as a writer for Saturday Night Live in 2003, but like many writers on the series, he was eventually upgraded to cast member by 2005. While he was a cast member on Saturday Night Live, he also had a recurring role on 30 Rock as Floyd DeBarber, and his voice could be heard in all but eight episodes of The Cleveland Show. Most recently, he had a major story arc role playing Phil Miller's brother in the Fox sitcom The Last Man on Earth. Additionally, he has movie credits in films such as Horrible Bosses and We're the Millers.

Johnny Pemberton (Alangulon, aka Alan) is a stand-up comedian who is best known for his work on the movies 21 Jump Street and 22 Jump Street. His television work includes roles on Family Tools, The Kroll Show, and most recently, Superstore.

Cheryl Hines (Edie) is best known for playing the role of Cheryl on the HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm. On broadcast television, she played the role of Dallas Royce on the ABC comedy Suburgatory. She also briefly appeared in the (quickly canceled) ABC sitcom In the Motherhood in 2009 and voiced Kate in the series Father of the Pride.

Tim Meadows (Craig) is best known for being a cast member on Saturday Night Live throughout most of the 90s. Since then, he has appeared as a regular in The Michael Richards Show, The Bill Engvall Show, and Mr. Box Office. He has appeared in films such as Mean Girls and Grown Ups.

Artemis Pebdani (Linda) is best known for a recurring role that she had on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. She has also appeared in guest roles in How I Met Your Mother, Modern Family, and numerous other sitcoms.


Pilot Plot:

"Return to Orange County" (Aired September 11 at 8:00PM ET)

In the pilot episode of the series, warrior Zorn returns to California to see his ex-wife and son. Only now he has found that things have changed since he last saw them, and not necessarily for the best. At least not for Zorn. His ex-wife, Edie, is not only over him, but she is also now engaged to Craig. He finds it impossible to relate to his son Alan. Seeing how things have changed while he is gone, he decides that he needs to get an apartment back in California and get an ordinary office job, but no matter what, this new life is going to be a major adjustment for Zorn.

"Defender of Teen Love" (Airs September 25 at 8:30PM ET)

In the second episode of the series, Craig wants to reclaim the garage to store his bikes, which means that Edie has to tell Zorn to get all of his belongings out of the garage. While cleaning out his belongings, Zorn finds his "Stone of Sight," a unique tool that allows him to spy on anybody at all. What he ends up using this tool for may be a blessing or a curse to Alan, when he uses it to try to help Alan get the girl he is attracted to.



Analysis:

This is definitely an odd series, much different from pretty much anything that has ever aired as a primetime broadcast network series (though not exactly a first if you consider some of the odd stuff that has aired on cable). It is odd in that the series is essentially a live-action series, except for Zorn. Zorn is animated, everything that belongs to him is animated, and his friends and acquaintances "back home" are all animated. But everything else in the series is live-action. So while Zorn himself joins the Fox Sunday night animated lineup as one of their characters, it is much different from the other animated series in the lineup that are completely animated. That hybrid nature of the series alone could be a make or break factor (for me, it makes it more interesting), because it is new territory for where it is airing.

That new territory, though, is certainly refreshing for TV. Before I watched the pilot, I expected to not like the series. I had a few different ideas of what the series would be like before watching, even when I fully knew it was an hybrid with animation and live-action, and none of the ideas of what I thought it would be were things that I was particularly interested in. After watching the pilot, though, I knew it was something different than anything that I've seen, and something that I liked.

The first episode is a typical pilot that introduces us to all of the characters and gives us a good idea of who they are, what their problems are, and what they're going to do to solve them. Of course, like many series, you can't really judge the show too much from the pilot, because all of the introductions leave little time for any real plot. The second episode, "Defender of Teenage Love," gives a real sense of what the series will be like, and that is what gave me a good feeling about the series. It shows that the series will frequently be about Zorn trying to achieve two goals: his positive goal of getting his son to love and respect him and his somewhat nefarious goal of trying to get his ex-wife to leave her fiance and come back with him. Not surprisingly, it looks like his goal of getting his son back in his life shows some promise, and the goal of getting his ex-wife back appears that it will be a constant dead end for him.

The only concern that I have, and it isn't so much a bad thing about the series but more about where it is airing, is that the experimental nature of it certainly feels like something that would be streamed on something like Netflix or Amazon Prime. I feel confident that the series could take off without any issues on a streaming service like that. On a broadcast network primetime lineup, it is hard to know where it'll go, but I'd certainly say it has a chance for survival beyond a few episodes.


Conclusion:

I liked the two episodes of the series that I watched. It is certainly something different for television, and much like The Last Man on Earth (the other Sunday night series on Fox that Phil Lord and Chris Miller serve as executive producer for), it has those quirky and unique qualities that are refreshing to see on TV. In other words, they've once again been able to come together to produce something that is legitimately funny, yet nothing like anything else that is airing on TV. That is hard to do these days when there are a finite number of ideas, most of which have been beat to death.

I'm hopeful that the series can survive, and that it can find an audience. Fox has positioned it in exactly the right place if it could ever hope to do it on a primetime lineup. As previously mentioned, it certainly might have been better positioned for an online streaming service. It is quirky, as many of those series are, and that is not to mention that the uncensored nature of those services could make the series more "interesting." But nonetheless, I think that this series can get a fair shake on the Fox Sunday night lineup, and it strikes me as the type of series that won't have a lot of difficulty finding a fan base as long as it is given a fair chance.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 4/5
Funniness: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

Discuss the show after you watch it on Sunday, September 25, 2016 at 8:30PM ET/PT on our message board.

Related Links:

  • FOX.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Son of Zorn 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 Sep. 26-30, 2016, we have many current sitcom stars and past sitcom stars on TV talk shows! All times listed are Eastern. So get your DVRs (or whatever you use) ready! Ready? Here is all what you need to know for the coming week!


    Saturday, September 24, 2016

    • Norm Macdonald (Norm) - Watch Norm on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am.
    Sunday, September 25, 2016
    • Mark Consuelos (Hope & Faith) - Catch Mark on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
    Monday, September 26, 2016
    • Zach Galifianakis (Baskets) - Watch Zach on on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
    • Rob Lowe (The Grinder/Parks and Recreation) - Rob appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He also talks about Code Black on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am and on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings. He will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
    • Kal Penn (We Are Men/How I Met Your Mother) - Kal is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
    • Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth) - Will visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He will also be on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
    • Norm Macdonald (Norm) - Norm stops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
    • Johnny Pemberton (Son of Zorn) - Johnny is a guest on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
    • Margaret Cho (All-American Girl) - Margaret appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
    • Jaleel White (Family Matters/Grown Ups) - Jaleel is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
    • Patton Oswalt (The Goldbergs/The King of Queens) - Patton visits Conan at 11pm on TBS.
    • Whoopi Goldberg (Whoopi/Bagdad Cafe) - Whoopi drops by Harry, so check your local listings.
    • Kristin Chenoweth (Kristin) - Kristin performs live on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am. She also talks about her new album on the AOL Build Show at 3pm.
    • Sutton Foster (Younger) - Sutton talks about Younger on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
    • The Cast of Younger) - Sutton Foster, Debi Mazar, Hilary Duff, Nico Tortorella, Peter Hermann, Miriam Shor and Molly Bernard are guests on the AOL Build Show at 2:15pm. Hilary will also be on Good Day New York on WNYW-Fox5 in New York sometime between 7-10am.
    • Michael Rosenbaum (Impastor) - Michael is a guest on WSJ Live at 11:30am and Yahoo! Facebook Live at 2pm.
    Tuesday, September 27, 2016
    • J.K Simmons (Growing Up Fisher/Family Tools) - Catch J.K. on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
    • Sutton Foster (Younger) - Sutton appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. She joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
    • Allison Janney (Mom/Mr. Sunshine) - Allison is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS. She will also be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
    • Kristin Chenoweth (Kristin) - Kristin performs for the audience on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
    • Gabourey Sidibe (The Big C) - Gabourey visits Harry, so check your local listings.
    • Kristen Bell (The Good Place) - Kristen stops by Harry, so check your local listings.
    • Cheryl Hines (Son of Zorn/Suburgatory/Curb Your Enthusiasm) - Cheryl is a guest on The Real, so check your local listings.
    • Tom Hanks (Bosom Buddies) - Tom talks about Hidden Heroes on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
    • Jennifer Esposito (Samantha Who?/Spin City) - Jennifer is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
    • Wilmer Valderrama (That '70s Show) - Wilmer appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
    • Melissa Joan Hart (Melissa & Joey/Sabrina, the Teenage Witch/Clarissa Explains It All) - Melissa is a guest on Good Day New York on WNYW-Fox5 in New York sometime between 7-10am.
    • Michael Rosenbaum (Impastor) - Michael appears on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC. He will also be on Good Morning Football on NFL Network sometime between 7-10am.
    Wednesday, September 28, 2016
    • Sarah Jessica Parker (Divorce/Sex and the City/Square Pegs) - Watch Sarah on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
    • Daveed Diggs (black-ish) - Daveed stops by Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
    • January Jones (The Last Man on Earth) - January appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. She will also be on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings and on the AOL Build Show at 11am.
    • Wilmer Valderrama (That '70s Show) - Wilmer visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
    • Ken Marino (Marry Me/Party Down/Men Behaving Badly) - Ken is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
    • Ted Danson (The Good Place/Becker/Cheers) - Ted stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
    • T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley/The Goodwin Games/Carpoolers) - T.J. appears on Chelsea on Netflix.
    • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
    • Kristin Chenoweth (Kristin) - Kristin joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
    • Nathan Lane (Modern Family/Encore! Encore!/Charlie Lawrence) and John Goodman (Roseanne) - Nathan and John talk about The Front Page on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
    • Hilary Duff (Younger/Lizzie McGuire) and Debbie Mazar (Younger/Entourage/Working) - Hilary and Debbie talk about Younger on NBC's Today in the 10am hour. Hilary will also be on People Now at 8:30am.
    • The Cast of Impastor - Michael Rosenbaum, Sara Rue, Mircea Monroe, David Rasche and Mike Kosinski discuss Impastor on the AOL Build Show at 12pm and on Facebook Live. Sara will also be on PIX Morning News on WPIX in New York.
    • Marcia Gay Harden (Trophy Wife) - Marcia is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
    • Norm Macdonald (Norm) - Norm appears on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
    Thursday, September 29, 2016
    • Judith Light (Transparent/Phenom/Who's the Boss?) - Catch Judith on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
    • Tim Meadows (Son of Zorn/Marry Me/The Michael Richards Show) - Tim appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He will also be on the AOL Build Show at 3pm.
    • Max Greenfield (New Girl/Modern Men) - Max drops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
    • Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community), Dave Foley (Dr. Ken/NewsRadio) and Suzy Nakamura (Dr. Ken/Go On) - Ken, Dave and Suzy are guests on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight. Ken will also be on Harry, so check your local listings.
    • January Jones (The Last Man on Earth) - January stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
    • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
    • Sarah Jessica Parker (Divorce/Sex and the City/Square Pegs) - Sarah appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
    • Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air/In the House/Silver Spoons) - Alfonso joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT. He will also be on the AOL Build Show at 11am.
    • Holland Taylor (Two and a Half Men/The Powers That Be) - Holland talks about The Front Page on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
    • Jamie-Lynn Sigler (Guys with Kids) - Jamie-Lynn is a guest on Good Day New York on WNYW-Fox5 in New York sometime between 7-10am.
    • Kristen Bell (The Good Place) - Kristen appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
    Friday, September 30, 2016
    • Minnie Driver (Speechless/About a Boy) - Watch Minnie on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
    • Nathan Lane (Modern Family/Encore! Encore!/Charlie Lawrence) - Nathan visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
    • Abby Elliott (Odd Mom Out) - Abby appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
    • Clark Gregg (The New Adventures of Old Christine) - Clark is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
    • Kristen Bell (The Good Place) - Kristen appears on Chelsea on Netflix.
    • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
    • Margo Martindale (The Millers) - Margo joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
    • Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air/In the House/Silver Spoons) - Alfonso will be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
    • Ashley Williams (The Jim Gaffigan Show/How I Met Your Mother/Good Morning, Miami) - Ashley talks about her Hallmark Channel original movie Love on a Limb on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
    • Queen Latifah (Living Single) - Queen Latifah stops by Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
    • Tim Daly (Wings) - Tim talks about Madam Secretary on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
    • Sara Rue (Impastor/Less Than Perfect) and Michael Rosenbaum (Impastor) - Sara and Michael talks about Season 2 of TV Land's Impastor on People Now at 8:30am.
    All listings are subject to change. Visit our blog and main site for daily updated listings. 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!


    Sitcoms Airing Tonight

    Saturday, May 15

    Side Hustle - "Bot Club" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
    Lex, Presley and Munchy discover that Fisher is a big-time player in the underground robot fight club scene in Altoonisburg; having not lost a robot fight yet, the kids decide to bet their KidDING money on a Fisher win.

    Complete TV Listings


    Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 10)

    Friday, May 14

    • Fred Armisen (Los Espookys/Forever/Big Mouth) - Watch Fred on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
    • Billy Crystal (The Comedians/Soap) and Tiffany Haddish (The Last O.G./The Carmichael Show) - Billy and Tiffany are guests on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
    • Richard Kind (Mad About You/Spin City) - Richard appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
    • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
    • Denise Richards (Blue Mountain State) - Denise discusses the movie The Treasure of Pirates Cove and the show The Bold and The Beautiful on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
    • Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt/The Office) - Ellie is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
    • Alfonso Ribeiro (In the House/The Fresh of Prince of Bel-Air/Silver Spoons) - Alfonso appears on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
    • Denis Leary (Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll/The Job) - Denis and Rachael share the work they did together on International Firefighters' Day on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
    • Jean Smart (Samantha Who?/Center of the Universe/The In-Laws/Designing Women) - Jean talks about HBO Max's Hacks on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.


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