Premiere Date: Sunday, September 11, 2016 — 9/8C, Fox
ZORN: Oh, Alangulon. Why do you suck so bad now?
In a truly bizarre world in which cartoons exist alongside our every live-action day, Zorn (Jason Sudeikis) – Defender of Zypheria, Conqueror of the Tribes of Agon, Decapitator of the Dark Herdsmen of Grith – gets a calendar alert that it is his son Alangulon’s birthday. Running out in the middle of what seems to be an endless battle against a vaguely Skeletor-like villain and his henchmen, the vaguely He-Man/Conan/Thundarr-like warrior folds himself into coach, flying from his beleaguered, animated island nation in the South Pacific to Orange County, CA.
Far from the junior version of his muscled, imposing self that he hoped for, Zorn discovers that Alangulon – Alan, for short – is a pale, slender vegetarian who is kind of whiny about all the years Zorn has been absent from his life. Told by his ex-wife, Edie (Cheryl Hines), that it may be his only chance to reconnect with his son, Zorn rents an apartment, gets a job and tries for some family bonding, all the while still wielding an array of deadly, and surely illegal, animated weapons.
Despite my fears that it might offer nothing more than a one-joke premise, Son of Zorn actually kept me in a constant state of amusement as this fish-out-of-water story jumped from one insanity to another for almost its entire running time. From Zorn’s abandonment of the war-torn Zephyria to his marital reminiscences with Edie to his choice of office-appropriate attire, it is all very, very unexpected and very, very funny.
This is in no small part due to Sudeikis’s voice work as the brash, brutal Zorn, as well as the human cast’s complete conviction in interacting with this seven-foot-tall half-naked cartoon barbarian. Of particular note are Zorn’s scenes opposite Edie, with whom he shares a weird chemistry, given only one of them is real, and those with his most excellent new boss, Linda (Artemis Pebdani), who the backward Zorn is convinced must be a man, since she’s his superior.
The compellingly uncomfortable Alan (Johnny Pemberton) and Edie’s hangdog new fiancé Craig (Tim Meadows) round out the dysfunctional family, and seeing how Zorn’s discomfiting presence upturns their orderly existence will probably be a lot of fun. Throw in the yearning of teenage hearts and, this cannot be emphasised enough, a seven-foot-tall half-naked barbarian wandering around the world like it’s totally normal and no big thing at all, and I will definitely be back to see just how long such left-field craziness can possibly be sustained.
SEASON PASS: Yep.