Animal Control Premiere Recap: Grade Joel McHale's New Fox Comedy


Fox’s Animal Control, which premiered today, stars Community grad Joel McHale as an animal control officer in Seattle. But is the new comedy more fun than a barrel of monkeys?

Before we ask your thoughts on the series — which  hails from writer Bob Fisher (Wedding Crashers, The Moodys), producer Rob Greenberg (How I Met Your Mother) and Fox Entertainment — check out this quick recap of “Weasels and Ostriches.”

Set in the world of animal control officers in Seattle, McHale’s Frank is the typical “lone wolf” at work, as he loves to remind his newbie partner “Shred” (whose real name is Fred, but who somehow thinks this is a cooler nickname). Frank and Shred are polar opposites, personality-wise, with the former significantly more pessimistic than the latter.

In the first episode, Shred (played by newcomer Michael Rowland) and Frank’s first ride along doesn’t go as expected, when Shred makes a hasty decision to help a client while Frank’s out on a coffee run. Shred finds himself in a sticky situation that he can’t weasel out of. (Sorry, I had to!) He tries to catch the tiny, furred critter that has been lurking in his customers’ home, but his inexperience makes itself obvious when he sets the clients’ couch on fire. He seems more scared of the weasel than it is of him, which is apparent by the way the creature simply escapes out of the front door.

The scene transitions to fellow animal control officers, Victoria (Grace Palmer, Good Grief) and Amit (Ravi Patel, Transformers), having a less lively ride-along as they discussion of Victoria’s weekend adventures.

animal-control-premiere-recap-season-1-episode-1-joel-mchale-When the duo returns to the office they are greeted by kindhearted Emily Price (Vella Lovell, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) who uses freshly baked muffins and a smile to try to persuade the gang to clean the kennels. It doesn’t work. She has better luck later, when she butters up the clients from Shred’s weasel debacle in an effort to stop them from pressing charges. This time, her strategy is successful.

Although Emily doesn’t seem qualified for her job, as Victoria mentions, she is well-liked because she’s easily persuaded. She later orders an expensive espresso machine after the agents convince her it’s a necessity. (How else will they get through a taxing shift without a nice latte? Seems legit to me.)

Later, we see Shred’s guilt get the best of him, and he tries to make things right with Frank after the weasel incident. Frank tells him not to worry, but we eventually learn this is just a part of his bigger plan to get rid of Shred. The plan also includes Shred being handed off to Frank’s rival and the head of the precinct, Templeton Drudge (Gerry Dee, Mr. D.)

Shred is convinced that he can change Frank’s mind, but his new co-workers affirm that Frank, a former cop that was fired for trying to expose corruption, no longer cares about being “Mr. Nice Guy.” That bears out when Frank slips beef sticks into Shred’s back pockets, causing ostriches to chase him up a tree.

After a change of heart, though, Frank shows up to take Shred to work, and they moon Templeton as they drive by.

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the premiere? Do you think the Frank-Shred partnership will last? Grade it via the poll below, then hit the comments with your thoughts.

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