Deserted sons lack depth in new show
March 16, 2010
In Fox’s newest comedy, “Sons of Tucson,” three brothers trying to stay out of foster care move halfway across the country to set up new lives for themselves. After their father is imprisoned for bank fraud, there is only one thing missing from their seemingly foolproof plan: a dad. To remedy this inconvenient situation, Gary, Brandon and Robby Gunderson hire the first guy they can find to the position. But Ron Snuffkin (Tyler Labine), a local Sports Space employee living out of his beaten-down station wagon, ends up becoming more than just a temporary fix to the brothers’ situation.
Gary (Frank Dolce) the middle brother and the brains of the operation, thinks the brothers will only need Ron to sign them up for school, so the trio offers Ron quick and easy money in exchange for a small performance. Ron plays his part convincingly, signing the boys up for school and attempting to avoid suspicion by spinning a heartbreaking tale involving Hurricane Katrina, a dead mother and new beginnings in Tucson.
After a few hilarious bumps in the road, one disastrous trip to grandmother Ethel’s, a hijacked car and an intimidating blonde debt collector named Larry, Ron and the three brothers realize that they have a somewhat symbiotic relationship. Ron needs the money, the brothers need a father, and Ron is fairly good at coming up with stories and keeping up the whole charade. In order to maintain their new lifestyle in Tucson, the brothers soon realize that they are going to need a more permanent fake father figure, so they offer Ron a full-time position.
Out of this strange partnership develops a new American family with a twist of modern economic crisis. Ron serves as the entertaining, albeit oblivious, Jack Black-type of father figure, trying to take care of three kids who are clearly in desperate need of a real dad. Gary, the mastermind, is a nerdy boy-genius who is probably the most responsible of the family. Brandon (Matthew Levy), the older but less mature brother, plays the part of stereotypical male teenager, trying to establish his new cool image in Tucson. Robby (Benjamin Stockham), the youngest, is your typical boy, fascinated by video games and monster trucks; but underneath that seemingly playful exterior, Robby seems to be the one most affected by his dead-beat dad’s absence.
Together, the four make an unfortunate situation into an entertaining life. The boys live out the childhood dream of no adult supervision, complete with an unlimited money supply, while trying to appear to be a normal suburban family. The show itself, a kind of “Malcolm in the Middle” comedy minus the conventional family values, is a mindlessly entertaining quick break from your average prime-time soap opera, and promises to become a must-see on Fox’s Sunday night comedy block. The show premiered March 14 and is scheduled to air Sundays at 9:30 p.m.