Son of Zorn: Is Fox's Semi-Animated Comedy Too Cartoonish to Succeed?

If you’ve ever asked yourself “What would it be like if He-Man relocated to Southern California and had an illegitimate son?,” then by golly, does Fox have the sitcom for you.

Son of Zorn, which got off to an early start on Sunday following the Giants/Cowboys game, is a semi-animated comedy about a swashbuckling warrior (voiced by Last Man on Earth‘s Jason Sudeikis) modeled after the Most Powerful Man in the Universe. After 10 years defending the faraway, fully animated island of Zephyria, Zorn moves back to Orange County to be closer to 17-year-old son Alangulon (Superstore‘s Johnny Pemberton) and ex-wife Edie (Curb Your Enthusiasm‘s Cheryl Hines), who is now engaged to online college professor Craig (SNL‘s Tim Meadows).

Much of Zorn‘s humor is drawn from the central character’s inability to see past his barbaric, antiquated views on gender and masculinity. The pilot gets plenty of mileage out of this, from his refusal to accept that new boss Linda (Scandal‘s Artemis Pebdani) is a woman to thinking that Craig is less of a man for working from home. This also plagues his efforts to connect with Alangulon, who is already reluctant to build a relationship with his egomaniacal, deadbeat dad.

Zorn makes no effort to learn about his son’s likes and dislikes, taking him out for a day at the batting cages and a ribeye dinner despite the fact that he is both disinterested in sports and maintains a vegetarian diet. Zorn also manages to scare away a waitress crushing on Alangulon by revealing that he still takes the bus to school. He later attempts to apologize for the embarrassment by gifting him a deathhawk as an alternate mode of transportation, but Edie makes him get rid of it immediately. (R.I.P., bird!) It’s still enough of an effort, though, to convince Edie that her ex really wants to do right by their son, and she later tells Alangulon that his father is doing his best. At the end of their conversation, it is revealed that the teenager is more like his dad than we’ve been led to believe as the camera pans down and exposes that his legs are animated.

Son of Zorn is weird, you guys. Like, really weird. With that being said, the show is ultimately telling two stories we’ve all seen before: the age-old fish-out-of-water tale, and the story of a father completely out of his element. Whether or not these components can help ground the show for viewers weary of its semi-animated gimmick will be key to any potential longevity.

So here’s our question: Will you come back for Episode 2 (when the show officially debuts on Sunday, Sept. 25 at 8:30/7:30c)? Grade the premiere below, then drop a comment with your full review.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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16 Comments
  1. flowerduh says:

    Man this shown is hilarious! Especially the last scene with the bird. I was dying!

  2. Ashlyn says:

    It’s odd, different, fun, and hilarious. I’m in!

  3. TV Gord says:

    I love Son of Zorn! Well, not the actual son of Zorn. He’s a bit of a tool. Zorn is AWESOME! He knows what he wants and he goes for it, and he seems to be adapting to clerical work faster than I expected. He’s a little unclear on the concept of the glass ceiling, but once he realizes there is one, I’m sure he’ll only be too glad to smash it. Also, Cheryl Hines seems more compatible with Zorn than Larry David. Zorn would totally obliterate Larry David.

  4. Beth says:

    It was interesting – very novel concept! Having Jason Sudeikis voice Zorn made the show more likable for me- he totally sells it!

  5. Mark says:

    I don’t really like the actor who plays the son on Superstore. How is he going to appear on both shows now?

    • Steven says:

      Well he’s only recurring on Superstore, with a very minimal character, so i’m sure it won’t be a problem. I also don’t see this show lasting past 13 episodes, so I’m sure he can manage it.

  6. Tom says:

    I for one loved it. If “Don’t act like you never rode a death hawk Edie” “Ok, I was 19, I was coked out of my mind.” Doesn’t make it to next week’s quotes of the week, there better be something else from the show. It was bizarre, it was irrelevant. It was what this country NEEDS. It will be dead within 13 episodes I’m betting, because FSM knows the masses would rather watch another Near Completely Indistinguishable Series or, I don’t know, Chicago Post Office.

  7. Red Snapper says:

    I liked it. I thought it was funny and inventive. I’m curious to see how where the story goes and how they will maintain their concept. Its a good companion for Fox’s animated series and will fit in with their Sunday lineup.

  8. donna says:

    Found the show to be very stupid

  9. auntiemm says:

    Very very strange and uneven show. I can’t look at Zorn and not think of Zander and the Herculoids.

  10. Gave it a try, as I really like Jason Sudeikis, but this was god awful. I have a feeling it will be well received by teen boys, but I couldn’t make it past the first 15 minutes. Cheryl Hines seemed like she was just phoning in her lines. Very disappointing to waste the talented Mr. Sudeikis in this type of show.

  11. Terry says:

    This show made me laugh out loud several times. I just hope people can get the humor and give it a shot.

  12. The problem I have with this show is the same one I had with The Grinder last season. It’s one joke told over and over again in different ways. I think this would have been much better as a movie, it won’t make season 2.

  13. nadialus says:

    I gave it a shot not really expecting anything and I thought it was awful.

  14. atia says:

    This was awful. Didn’t get a single laugh from me.