'Duncanville' Pilot Review: A parody of family woes, Fox's new animated sitcom drives a good laugh home
In the pilot, we are introduced to a 'spectacularly average 15-year-old boy' Duncan Harris, who voiced by Amy Poehler
If you're a fan of animated shows like 'Family Guy', 'The Simpsons' and 'Bob's Burgers', Fox's new sitcom 'Duncanville' won't have too many surprises in store for you. But again, if you can't get enough of the animated world, the family-comedy would be another addition to the collection.
In the pilot, we are introduced to a "spectacularly average 15-year-old boy" Duncan Harris, who is voiced by Amy Poehler. As the showrunners dive into his fantasy life and the people in his world, Duncan's parents come into the picture — his mom, Annie (voiced by Poehler, again — which is weird but also, quite a revelation), a parking enforcement officer, who dreams of being a detective someday and his dad, Jack (voiced by Ty Burrell), a classic-rock obsessed plumber who tries to be a better father figure.
In the half-hour episode, Duncan's parents are excited for the boy to finally learn how to drive. Enters his father, who freaks out after looking at his son's crazy, wacko attempt behind the steering wheel.
Meanwhile, his little adopted sister Jing (Joy Osmanski) likes to shout “Watch me!” while showing off how to be the slowest cartwheel. At that very moment, Duncan drives into the pathway leading to his house and stop right before he almost tramples Jing. Thankfully, phew!
Putting all the blame on his dad, he yells, "How can I drive with you freaking out?" His next adventure is with his mom, Annie. Surprisingly, his mom is way calmer than his dad is and he enjoys the ride. "Driving with you is fun, mom," Duncan tells her. To which, Annie responds, "Your father is emotional. Probably because he has just one testicle!"
Yes, 'Duncanville' has its moments of hilarity and for that, it deserves a thumbs-up. Perhaps, as more episodes roll out, it could make for a fun watch. A few dialogues add a punch of humor and wit, like when Duncan tells his parents, "I'm lucky to have you keep me from making bad decisions, which I never do."
Or perhaps, when his mom (like most moms) starts counting all the sacrifices she made for her child. "Kimberly, get me my yelling stool," she says. Yes, she has a "yelling stool." Whoa! That could be a good tool for forthcoming episodes.
Oh, and Duncan's friends — Bex, the class clown, Yangzi, the stylish one and Wolf, his reckless neighbor — are cool as well. And so is Mia, his crush. Directed by Anne Walker Farrell, the first episode is a good start. Time will tell if the show develops into something more concrete. The 13-episode series would have been better off on a streaming channel, available for viewers to binge-watch in one go. For now, the catchword is "average but amusing!"