Son of Zorn: The Battle of Self Acceptance – No Mo’ Bro’ (Review)

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Just when it seems that Son of Zorn cannot outdo itself in terms of comedy along comes “The Battle of Self Acceptance.” There are a number of firsts in this episode. Alangulon becomes addicted to an appearance altering Zephyrian drug, Craig trains to be a warrior and Zorn discovers that Linda is a woman.

This episode kept the gags coming at a rapid pace. From Linda’s worry about the CEO, who does not like her, coming to visit, to Alan’s desire to change his Zephyrian “lower half” everything was up in the air.  The visual jokes ran thick and fast as well.

(The fish oil man gag was hysterical. Alangulon asks about an appearance altering drug that the cave doctor has on offer. “The first taste is free. After that, b*tch better have my money.” Zorn comes back in the room after sucking on the fish guy’s hole. With green stuff on his chin and one leg thrumming, he shouts excitedly “…give me my flu shot and a lollipop…”)

Son of Zorn “The Battle of Self Acceptance” starts with Craig and Edie planning their wedding. Watching a video of Edie’s marriage to Zorn causes Craig some problems. You never, he tells his fiancee, look at me like that.

The first gag of the episode follows soon after when he correctly identifies the braid Edie is wearing as a “Dutch braid.” He then “challenges” Zorn to be able to match his prowess in identifying braid types.

Craig: “I’d like to see Zorn correctly identify a braid.”

Zorn (on the video): “I love you, Edie, and, hey, I love your Dutch braid.”

Craig: “Son of a…

His insecurity increases when Craig and Edie hear a suspicious noise when they are in bed. Craig is clearly terrified and Edie sends a text to Zorn. Her ex comes and saves the two from a tree branch.

Zorn: “Don’t worry, though. I hacked it off, uprooted the tree, and salted the earth so nothing can ever grow there again.”

Feeling very ineffectual, Craig asks Zorn to give him warrior lessons. These include numerous slaps and a montage of training scenarios.

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Craig carrying Zorn up the stairs as part of his warrior training.

The training stops after Craig stands up to Zorn. The Zephyrian warrior  drops to his knees in front of Edie’s fiancé and sings his praises. He also explains that for Craig to win as a warrior he needs to sucker punch the opposition.

Alan finds that the free drug he took to change his appearance works but has side effects and severe withdrawal symptoms. He is desperate to get more of the drug, now $500, and as he looks for things to sell, Craig attacks him and beats Alan up.

(The second comedy highlight of the episode was Pemberton’s scream when his character looks into the mirror and sees his Zephyrian nose.)

In the meantime, Linda has been demoted and now works in a cubicle near Zorn. The penny finally drops and he realizes that Linda has been a woman all this time. Later Zorn explains his sense of loss to his former boss.

“You were one of the guys,” he says. “You were my bro’. You know? And now? No mo’ bro… you know?”

Zorn comes over to help with Alan’s drug problem. Craig sees that Zorn has now learned to be more than a murderous barbarian and the bonding between Edie, Alan and Zorn causes Craig to leave.

Edie comes home to a spotless house and “apple and carrot” muffins; left by Craig as a going away gift. Alan learns that Layla likes him just the way he is, Zephyrian legs are, it seems, perfectly acceptable to her.

Uncertain as to what her next move should be, Edie goes to see Zorn. She walks into the apartment and finds that Zorn and Linda have clearly just had sex…twice. (Or as Zorn says, technically one and a half times…)

This was a brilliantly funny episode. The laughs came less from the quirkiness of the Zephyria juxtaposition and more from the standard issues that affect us all.

Alan’s worry that Layla will not like his many penii and his Zephyrian legs and  Craig’s feelings of inadequacy. Zorn’s failure to see Linda as a woman until she worked next to him and Alan’s leg issues were related to the Zephyrian storyline but not reliant upon it.

Son of Zorn continues to be a funny addition to the FOX lineup. The series airs Sundays on the network and it just keeps getting better.

CAST:

Son of Zorn: The War on Grafelnik – Child of Divorce (Review)

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Just when it seems that Son of Zorn could not p0ssibly get any funnier along comes an episode like “The War on Grafelnik.” We learn that Grafelnik, which is basically a retelling of Taken (or vice versa), falls on Christmas Day this year.

Zorn is excited at the prospect of spending Alan’s first Grafelnik taking revenge on all who have wronged them. He takes Alan out on a revenge run. They throw packets of raw hamburger meat on the walls of a restaurant and Alan is called to meet his father in a bad section of town.

Edie pushes for a shared Christmas/Grafelnik and as the divorced couple argue for priority with their son, Alangulon comes up with a brilliant idea. He pits Zorn and Edie against one another in order to get more gifts.

Alan’s friend Todd prompts the plan when he arrives with a new motorbike, leathers and a new helmet.  Alan talks with Todd about the disagreement between Edie and Zorn about Christmas vs Grafelnik.

This prompts the war of the title and it results in some unexpected results for Alan as well as Craig and Edie. Son of Zorn pulls out all the stops with a hysterically funny backstory that explains Craig’s phobia about Santa  Claus.

A child of divorce himself, Craig reveals to Edie that he is terrified of Santa. One Christmas his father, dressed as the jolly old elf, shows up and finds Craig’s mother with her boyfriend. The end result is a bloody Christmas morning where Craig’s dad, dressed as Santa, beats the boyfriend to a pulp.

Craig has been frightened of the toymaker ever since. Edie tries to cure her fiance of his phobia with immersion therapy which is unsuccessful. Even having sex whilst she wears a “Santa hat” does not help Craig with his irrational fear.

(Later in the episode, when Edie and Zorn destroy the Santa Village at the mall, Craig is enveloped by an inflatable Santa and the divorced couple traumatize a slew of innocent kids.)

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Zorn dressed as Grafelnik.

The entire episode is funny.  From Zorn’s appearance as Grafelnik to the Zephyrian-trained killer bees, the storyline containts a multitude of amusing moments.  Alan’s revelation that the story of Grafelnik is, in essence, the plot of Taken starts things off.

Zorn actually agrees that the film is a lot like the Zephyrian folktale. (Although he points out that the father and daughter are killed by a “shot to the head” and buried in the same grave in the Zephyrian verson.)  The revenge based holiday has snowballs made of rocks and includes a seasonal greeting of punching someone in the face.

When Todd attempts the traditional greeting, however, Zorn grabs him by the throat. Edie learns of Alan’s plan to bilk his parents into buying him more gifts and tells her ex about it. Zorn is disappointed enough in the boy that he joins Edie in destroying the gifts they purchaced for Alan.

There is a climatic battle between Zorn and Edie. She weilds a giant candy cane and Zorn uses his sword. This rather one sided fight ends iwth Zorn setting the Mall’s Christmas tree on fire.

By the end of the episode Craig still has his phobia, Zorn decides he likes Taken before releasing a bag of deadly Zephyria trained killer bees on his family and Craig.

This was a brilliant Christmas episode that had a lot of things factored  in to the storyline. (On a sidenote: Has anyone else noticed that Zorn’s bald spot is getting bigger?)

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Zorn vs Edie…

Son of Zorn airs Sundays on FOX. Tune in and get caught up in this live action/animation comedy.

CAST:

Guest starring Tony Revolori as Scott

Son of Zorn: Return of the Drinking Buddy – Party Down (Review)

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Son of Zorn manages to outdo itself with “Return of the Drinking Buddy,” aka Headbutt Man; a blast from Zorn’s past who could headbutt anything into submission. The episode makes the most of old pals who have changed greatly since their halcyon days.

It also addresses those friends foisted upon the children of old friends, via Headbutt Girl and Alangulon when they head to a party where Zorn’s son hopes to meet up with Layla.

The magic of this series is the effortless way it blends the animated world of Zorn and Zephyria with the Southern California setting of Edie, Craig and Alan.  Headbutt Man and his new partner Elizabeth (his “Edie”) come for a visit and, for Zorn, this is a chance to relive their glory days.

“Return of the Drinking Buddy” also allows us to learn a bit more about Linda, aka “Slayer Linda” at the bar, who thinks having Zorn’s old pal along for the office party is a splendid idea.

Headbutt Man does decide to join Zorn after initially being rather excited about the “world” crackers and cheese on offer at Edie and Craig’s house. Edie spends most of the episode thinking that Elizabeth looks familiar.

After a series of bad guesses, “Did you used to have a spider in the middle of your face,” asks Edie; Headbutt’s other half reveals that she went to summer camp with Zorn’s ex.

Both women dated the same lad and Craig calls the man to find out who he thought was his “main” girlfriend.  Meanwhile, Headbutt Girl, aka Dorothy Clementina, goes with Alan to the party. She expects to have sex and instead gets insulted by the other party guests.

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Johnny Pemberton and Headbutt Girl, voiced by Ashley Padilla.

Alan stands up for his “family friend.”

Zorn learns that Headbutt Man has been off the drink and no longer headbutts things into oblivion. He reveals that he met Elizabeth at a coffee house restroom, where she found him unconscious and covered in his own vomit.

“She cleaned me up,” says Zorn’s old pal but later the allure of the booze and the bar sets Headbutt Man up for a fall.

This was a funny episode that featured just a tad of tragedy with Headbutt Man’s somewhat sad backstory after Zorn left the scene.  It allowed Alan to show his kinder and less geeky side and Edie’s Zephyria days  surface once more with the reference to her punk hair-do and facial piercings.

As this is Son of Zorn, there had to be a double helping of ironic humor at the end.  Headbutt Man tells his old drinking buddy that doctors warned him to mend his headbutting ways.  Just one more injury to his brain will result in death, Headbutt Man tells Zorn.

Sure enough, as his pal goes to leave, Zorn tosses the car keys to Headbutt Man and his buddy misses the catch. The small objects connect with his friend’s head and the punch line is delivered.

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Rob Riggle manages to turn in a brilliant performance as the old reformed party animal.  Ashley Padilla is equally impressive as Headbutt Girl.  This could well be the highlight of the season. The disturbing flashback to Headbutt Man losing an eye to the unicorn he headbutts is gruesomely funny as is the car key induced death of Zorn’s old pal.

Son of Zorn airs Fridays on FOX. Stop by and check this one out, it is worth the effort.

CAST:

Guest starring Rob Riggle as Headbutt Man, Jillian Bell as Headbutt Girl, Artemis Pebdani as Layla and Alex Borstein as Elizabeth.

Son of Zorn: The War of the Workplace (Recap/Review)

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After last week’s episode, where Zorn single-handedly destroyed his son’s love life  “The War of the Workplace” show’s Zorn as office savior…Not. It also follows up on the  animated lower half of Alangulon (Alan) and his being bullied at school.

In the gym, Alan has a been wearing track bottoms rather  than shorts and at swim class he wears a wet suit.  The class bully makes fun of Alan. After taking his step-dad’s advice on how to defuse the situation he gets a black eye.

(Craig’s advice is to tell the bully he/she is loved.)

At work Zorn spies an office worker from another company taking the hot sauce from their break room without asking.

This is war.

Zorn has been missing the “blood and guts” atmosphere of a good war and he is keen to get into action. Linda stops Zorn in his tracks and tells him to relax as it is only hot sauce.

Linda tasks Zorn with copying documents and “overnighting” them. He messed up the first batch by giving them to “the raven” on the ledge. She tells Zorn that it was a pigeon and that the papers are now part of its nest.

As Derek has not returned the hot sauce, Zorn scouts enemy territory by climbing through the air ducts.  Edie calls him to reveal that Alan is being bulled at school.

Zorn backs out of the duct and his sword is cutting through the ceiling tiles. “I’m getting some drag,” says Zorn as he co-workers watch the yellow weapon slice its way across the office ceiling.

Edie, Craig and Zorn try to teach Alan how to deal with the bully.  Zorn favors killing the boy, Craig suggests Alan lay on his back waving his arms and kicking his feet like “a turtle.”

Alan’s mother shows him how she would solve the problem. (She used to be a bully.) Edie asks Alan to punch her.  After some persuasion, Alan tentatively throws a punch. Edie grabs his arm, forces him to his knees and gives Alan four of five “death taps.”

The teenager is, understandably, freaked out. Zorn explains that if Edie touches him again, Alan’s head with explode.  Later, in his bedroom, Alan’s mom approaches him and he leaps back in panic. She tells him that she may never be able to touch him again.

Back at the office, Zorn has been banished to the hallway.  Jakton tells Zorn that Derek has moved on from stealing the hot sauce to “pilfering the yoghurts.”  He also reveals that the man is now taking the cranberry juice drinks.

Zorn reacts by filling one of the bottles with blood. Dereck drinks it and goes nuclear. He rushes into the other office and demands to know who put blood in the bottle.

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Zorn and Derek prepare to do battle.

Jakton cringes behind an office partition as Zorn moves forward for battle. Derek grabs a coat rack and the two prepare to fight.  Derek’s boss arrives just as Linda comes in the room. The two de-escalate the fight and Derek is made to apologize.

Zorn is frustrated.

Alan’s mother gives him a note that says he is allergic to chlorine.  The coach reluctantly accepts the excuse. “The last time I didn’t believe a note, the kid really was being kidnapped.”

As Alan takes off his trousers,  the bully arrives and starts making fun of his animated legs. The teenager calls his large tormentor a whale and when the bigger lad moves in, Alan lays on his back, a’la Craig.

One of his flailing legs comes in contact with the bully knocking him across the locker room. The bully runs off yelling that he will never bother Alan again.

There is much celebration by Alan’s parents and Zorn makes up a song. Craig starts to sing along and Zorn breaks his lute.

Son of Zorn continues to tickle the funny bone.  The storylines are amusing  and all of the cast play their parts to perfection. Kudos to Johnny Pemberton as Alan, each week he manages to make his character incredibly nebbish and likable.

Sudeikis is still spot on as Zorn and the writers keep delivering the comedy.

Son of Zorn airs Sundays on FOX.

CAST:

Guest starring  Bryce Johnson as Derek and Bobby Lee as Jakton. 

Son of Zorn: Odd, Quirky Fun (Review)

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At first glance Son of Zorn could seem like an awful idea for a television series. However, this odd and quirky live action/animation show is fun and not too far removed from “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” Of course the punchline here is that no one notices that He-Man look-a-like Zorn is not “real.”

Jason Sudeikis voices Zorn and this is an instance where the casting should be considered serendipitous. The character of this “manly man” who “drinks the blood of my enemies from the skulls of their children” was seemingly tailor made for this comic actor.

What makes the whole thing work is Jason’s straighter than straight delivery. Of course Zorn is less complex than the real people in this world and that makes the show funnier.

The storyline for the show’s premiere episode has Zorn pausing seconds into helping his fellow warriors from Zephyria. It is his son Alan’s (aka Alangulon)  birthday and  Zorn wants to visit the “fruit of his loins.”

Alan starts out being excited at the prospect of seeing his dad but this turns to dismay when Zorn embarrasses him on the school bus. Zorn’s ex-wife Edie and her fiancé Craig are also not overly thrilled to see Zorn show up.

The warrior decides to stay and spend some time with Alan. He rents an apartment, gets a job and starts trying to make things right with his son.

In some ways the show can be seen as a fish out of water comedy but the writing takes the series further than that simple concept. The lines are crisp, silly and damned funny.

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Zorn

Zorn trying to get Edie to buy off on the giant flying bird is a good example. When his ex emphatically demands that the creature be taken back to “where it came from,” Zorn sneers at Edie. “Oh like you’ve never ridden one before.”

Edie yells back, “I was 19 and coked out of my head. Take it back.”

The hero from Zephyria then stabs the animated bird in the neck, much to the horror of Alan and the waitress he met the night before. Zorn tries to calm everyone by saying that it was painless and he has done this countless times.

As the flying death hawk starts flapping about Zorn begins hacking at the bird to kill it. This was laugh out loud funny.  Could this be construed as being in bad taste? Certainly. But… Was it funny?

Oh yes.

The entire episode works because most of the jokes are near the boundary of bad  taste. (Or at least very close to being non PC.)  The lines are delivered straight and all the live action players treat Zorn as if he were just like them.

It works brilliantly.

At the end of Son of Zorn, the giant flying bird has been cut to bits and placed in three garbage cans. (With one leg twitching occasionally.) Edie seeks to reassure her son that he is nothing like his father.

As Alan stands brushing his teeth in the bathroom, he agrees with his mother. The camera pulls back to reveal that from the waist down, Alan’s legs are animated just like his father’s.

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Tim Meadows, Cheryl Hines and Zorn (Jason Sudeikis)

Son of Zorn may have problems finding its audience. Although its demographic appears to be older than the norm. The show premiered after   football on Sunday, which speaks volumes about who FOX are targeting.

Viewers old enough to remember being enraptured  by Who Framed Roger Rabbit will like this one.

Son of Zorn airs Sundays on FOX.

 

 

 

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