TV Review: Son of Zorn S1E1 Return to Orange County

zornediecraighireshires1jpg-65311e_765wThree years in the making Son of Zorn is an ambitious new series that blends animation with live action. To say it’s “out there” is an understatement as it feels like a Hanna-Barbera classic animated series… off the rails and on crack.

The series follows Zorn (voiced by Jason Sudeikis), a warrior from the island nation of Zephyria – where everything and everyone is animated – who returns to Orange County, CA, to win back his live-action ex-wife, Edie (Cheryl Hines), and teenage son, Alangulon, aka Alan (Johnny Pemberton).

Zorn is a battle worn leader who clearly has faced challenges that’d make a dungeon master drool with glee. But, he has decided now to challenge himself by reconnecting with his “family.” That involves moving to the suburbs, getting an office job, and dealing with his ex-wife’s new man played by Tim Medows.

Really, the series is a classic fish out of water series with a main character that’s not really likeable and says just the right mix of things to offend just about everyone. And that seems to be the heart of the show. It’s a “shock” show where you’re not as much expected to feel for the main character, instead you’re supposed to want to see what he says and does next. And a lot of that is really funny. I found myself laughing a decent amount upon seeing the debut episode.

It’s that shock that the show plays a lot into, instead it could be a much more intelligent commentary on the world as is as well as he-man machismo. How the series plays all of that going forward is unknown, but the first episode has one note it plays over… and over. And that note was already played in the movie Ted.

There’s a lot of interesting things though. Medows plays the serious straight-man. Hines unfortunatley is just given the role of complaining ex-wife (who used to have a wild side). Pemberton feels a bit old to be in high school, but this is the best I’ve seen him in his various roles. Sudeikis is… a voice. He reads his lines well, but it comes off like he’s channeling Ted.

The first episode is decent and will fit into Fox’s Sunday Night Line-up well. The episode generally goes for shock over sly intelligence and whether the show can be more than “holy shit” moments will be key, but still this debut beat my expectations and might be one of the strangest shows on television.

Overall Rating: 7.2