Son of Zorn: He-Man meets This is 40
Son of Zorn is the newest installment in Fox's animation block, which has been shuffling Bob's Burgers, live action shows such as Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and whatever the new animation flavor of the season (usually canceled before a a second season) happens to be.
Son of Zorn has potential. The casual, slice-of-life approach to comedy, particularly in animation, has been very chic of late. And the juxtaposition of these mundane themes with bizarre settings and surreal characters has been just as popular. They usually do great on Adult Swim, but flounder on Fox. Hopefully Son of Zorn has enough star power to last.
Son of Zorn follows Zorn (Jason Sudeikis), a cartoon character from a fictional land that's totally not Eternia, and his exploits to reconnect with his human son in the three dimensional United States. Unfortunately, his egocentric nature and hypermasculine culture is at odds with his vegetarian, adolescent son, his wild-now-mild ex, and her new man, the effeminate and sensitive Craig (Tim Meadows).
The conversations are genuinely funny. They are awkward and energetic, reminiscent of all the funny conversations from Will Ferrell's most memorable films. Indeed, he would have made a great Zorn...but Sudeikis certainly delivers.
There are two primary gripes: the actual plots to the episodes feel stale and rehashed and formulaic. Every episode is: Angulon (the eponymous Son of Zorn) has a problem, Zorn tries to solve it in typical He-man fashion...it backfires. There's a lot of potential here, but they seem to keep using Seinfeld tropes to keep the narrative chugging along like an old sitcom zombie.
The other big gripe feels mean to say...but Johnny Pemberton, talented as he is, feels like a poor fit for the role of Angulon. His acting is solid and his previous roles have been great, but he doesn't look like a teenage boy anymore. His portrayal of a boy eager to learn to drive is somehow more jarring than all the cartoon birds and magic.
Give this show a shot, but with Fox's track record with surreal toons...I'm not holding my breath.