Monday, October 31, 2011

Allen Gregory Must Die


Sunday, October 30th, Fox premiered a new cartoon in the 8:30 prime-time slot between "the Simpsons" and "Family Guy." The style and execution of the animation is beautiful. That being said, that is not enough to give this show even one star.

I hope that the second episode is a cross-over with "Family Guy" and Stewie Griffin beats Allen Gregory to death with a baseball bat.

It is generally unfair to judge a series on the pilot episode, but the basis of the series has been set up. The series is set around Allen Gregory, an emo seven year old version of Charlie Brown in a gay Alex P. Keaton outfit. He has been home-schooled but is now being thrust into the public education system.

There are three points that are going to stick in the craw of those that do not like this show off the bat due to the feeling the popular media is trying to shove alternative ideals down our collective throats:

  • Allen Gregory's parents are a homosexual couple. There is a scene of hubby petting his hubby while describing what he feels. Don't worry, he was petting his partner's stomach. It could have been worse. We learn during the pilot one of the husbands was (is?) straight and had a wife and kid(s). The other husband pursued him so persistently that he just gave up and accepted it as fate that he should be with the other man instead of his wife. This was the closest thing to humor in the episode. Was it social commentary on the feminization of men in our culture? Was it a reflection of white guilt portrayed as heterosexual guilt just as whites voted for Obama that straights try the same sex out of "equality guilt?"
  • Allen Gregory falls in love with with his sixty-something female principal. Fine. In second grade I had a crush on my twenty-something teacher. I love the movie "Harold and Maude." When I was nineteen, if I met Maude, I probably would have fallen for her. This show portrays Allen's love fantasy as a visual sequence. Even though it is his fantasy, it is still a portrayed romantic and sexual fantasy between a seven year old and a sixty something year old, a pedophiliac episode depiction during prime time. They also did it to Phil Collins "In The Air Tonight." Try as you might, you cannot taint my memory of its use in "Miami Vice." There was no attempt at an allusion to true love but a thrust too gross the audience with overemphasizing varicose veins and the ravages of old age to the body.
  • Remember "the Breakfast Club" and Molly Ringwald had a Sushi lunch? So does Allen. However, the seven year old Allen has wine as a beverage to have with lunch. Yes, the school punishes him, but the parents packed the wine in the first place.

So, if you are not entrenched in Amish prudishness, was this show still decent?


There are several characters illustrated, the character development slims it down to fewer than what you see, and the dialog thins the cast down to two character types:

  • A character that discusses the current topic of interest. No other character dialog is listened to. No other character feelings are concerned. Dialog is pushed forward in self interest.
  • A character that discusses the current topic of interest. They understand what is going on. They wonder why they are being ignored.

Basically, writing dialog is extremely easy for this show. There are no conversations. Characters just bleat what they want.

Everything I complained about could be put together into a show and could be funny or it could be dramatically heartfelt and thought provoking. Unfortunately it was disjointedly awkwardly liberally pointlessly preachy and unfunny.

Yes, there is the general argument of parents should control what their kids watch, but I must stress that the promos I saw on FOX portrayed an overly intelligent kid entering public education. I did not see any of this grotesque humanity portrayed in the previews for this pre-bedtime TV show.

By now we all know "Family Guy" is NOT family friendly. When there is such a well defined change to adult programming, why would you put something more socially over the edge BEFORE it?

I wish I could recommend [ Adult Swim ] for this show, but everything about the show is boring or possesses an attempt as controversial while being meaninglessly offensive.

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