Titus (2000–2002)

TV Series  -   -  Comedy | Drama
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 4,486 users  
Reviews: 45 user | 6 critic

A mechanic, Christopher Titus, along with his brother and his friends, try to deal with his father, a lewd, crude, drinking multiple divorcee.

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Title: Titus (2000–2002)

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Christopher Titus / ... (54 episodes, 2000-2002)
...
 Erin Fitzpatrick (54 episodes, 2000-2002)
...
 Dave Scouvel (54 episodes, 2000-2002)
...
 Tommy Shafter (54 episodes, 2000-2002)
...
 Ken Titus (54 episodes, 2000-2002)
Dylan Capannelli ...
 5-Year Old Titus / ... (32 episodes, 2000-2002)
Phoenix Forsyth ...
 10-Year Old Titus / ... (24 episodes, 2000-2001)
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Storyline

Based on the real-life dysfunctional family of comedy in Christopher Titus, the show deals with his character, his brother, and their friends dealing with his crude, abusive, sadistic drunken father, and how the guy has twisted and ruined his own life. All in a light-hearted comedy vein. Written by <crow_steve@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You spend 18 years in the comfort and security of your parents' home... and the rest of your life trying to get over the damage. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 March 2000 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (54 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stacy Keach stated in an interview that the actual Ken Titus, before he passed away, would often give him tips on how to portray him more accurately. See more »

Quotes

Christopher Titus: Every woman that has ever loved my dad has tried killing him.
Erin Fitzpatrick: What's funny about that?
Christopher Titus: Laughter, absolute terror, fine line.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cynthia Watros Gets Lost: Episode #1.3 (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

Requiem for a Sitcom
11 November 2002 | by See all my reviews

Final Score (average of several classic cinematic qualities):

9.5 (out of 10)

Click. Fizzling sound. The light goes on. Standing underneath the bare bulb in glorious black and white is Christopher Titus. He's in a bowling shirt and looks like a combination of Jim Carey and that wide-eyed muppet with the wires coming out of the top of his head. He talks directly to us starting with something like "All patents suck" or "My mom is in a mental institute" or maybe "67% of homes are now dysfunctional". This is his life.

"Titus", which Fox abruptly cancelled after 3 seasons for being to "dark", "raw" and "edgy" for their line-up, was a sitcom like no other. It was a nearly exact translation of the award winning comedian's one man stage play "Norman Rockwell is Bleeding". Both are the autobiographical story of his life, the center of which is a dysfunctional family that puts the Bundys, the Simpsons and any other family on TV to an absolute shame. He's got a drunken, abusive womanizing father Ken (played brilliantly by Stacey Keach) and an alcoholic schizophrenic mother with a tendency to kill people (played by multiple actors, but best by Frances Fisher). Strong Cynthia Watros is a perfect co-lead with Titus in a female role that usually goes underwritten on shows like "Home Improvement" and "Everybody Loves Raymond". Extra props to David Shatraw' shamelessly hysterical portrait of Tommy Shafter- the flamboyantly "normal one".

Titus tells his story from the black and white neutral space- a metaphorical playground of the mind, which in a favorite episode allowed him to regress and talk to his 5-year old self. He often uses this space to explain to us the difference between normal people and "screwed up" people. Most of the action used the standard one-stage sitcom format mixed with lightening fast flashbacks and fantasy sequences. All of these characters somehow come together in each episode in "wacky adventures" that force them to face one social atrocity after another. "Titus" walked a line that no show before or after has dared to with entire episodes dealing with suicide, spousal abuse, homophobia, murder, drugs, guns and in a particularly raw episode that was initially banned, child molestation. For years sitcoms like "Roseanne" and "Grace Under Fire" have dealt with similar topics but in "very special" dramatic episodes. Titus was always a comedy and did it better. It utilized a fresh new form of comedy I'd never before seen on TV- cathartic humor. It was a show that laughed through pain and because of that many people didn't get it. And boy was it funny. The writing was sharp and swift, real next-level thinking with some good old fashioned "I Love Lucy" style slapstick. Sure, there were mis-fires and bombs but the show was so quickly paced you'd quickly forgive it.

Then while your trying to catch your breath laughing something shocking or serious would happen and swing the pendulum the other direction. It's perfect comic timing and sense of humor (and mostly because it was a true story) allowed it to swing in and out of the comedy and tragedy with the ease of a talented acrobat. There were episodes that I remember being completely floored by. You would just sit there on the couch in silence minutes after the show was over, shaken but yet also invigorated that TV could still be that good. It was a thrilling place to be. In it's to short run it dealt with multiple plot lines, involving Ken, Erin and Titus, but the most memorable episodes all involved his mother, Juanita. Her journey in and out of the "wacko basket" and attempts to kill Ken were always the best. The biggest triumph was the final few episode (which Fox postponed due to it's dealing with terrorism and airline security) when it all culminates in Juanita suicide. Christopher's monologue, at us, but to his dead mother at the end of that episode is THE most heartbreaking thing I've ever seen in a sitcom.

"Titus" like "Seinfeld" seems to be the work of non-TV people. People who don't know that a sitcom "is not supposed to do that" and kept pushing. It was brilliant and revolutionary. It broke the mold and re-set the standard. It's methods including breaking down the fourth wall and the flashbacks were stolen, recycled and used today in cheap, mainstream rip-off shows like "Grounded for Life" and "The Bernie Mac Show". To date, `Titus' ranks one of the best TV shows of all time. Fox may not have gotten it, but millions of us did. Thanks Titus! Click. Fizzling sound.


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