When Joel Zadak stays home from school because he's sick, the always presumptuous Allen Gregory steps in to help his popular "friend" by keeping tabs on the clique. As Allen Gregory gains some ground...
Allen Gregory enlists the help of a friend to find his biological mother. Though Allen Gregory initially dreams of his mother and father falling in love and starting a life together, he soon realizes...
Not for everyone, but well written dialogue shines through
I've read a large amount of criticism for this show and have been trying to figure out why there is such widespread hatred towards it.
The most prominent issue seems to be its 'meanness.' The reviews available at the time have all berated the lack of redeeming qualities in Allen, wondering why he can't learn a lesson or be the misguided soul that we eventually feel sympathetic towards. They're crying out for the tried and true formula attributed to each one of these characters in thousands of comedies gone before. One of the reasons Allen is so great to watch is to see him completely humiliated, by who we'd usually consider to be the bullies, and feel a sense of justice only to see his delusion go even further, to which the response is laughter of disbelief. This is definitely not the feel good, life affirming romp that everyone wants to see. You don't feel sympathy for the main character but that emotion manifests in other characters such as Julie (Allen's adopted sister) and Jeremy (His father's life partner). In fact I really began to like Jeremy's character; a once straight man with a family who, for all appearances, should be a strong, confident man but has been completely subdued by a person who borders on psychopathic. Maybe he's staying with him to save Allen from becoming a duplicate or maybe it is just one of those relationships. We'll have to wait for the characters to be fleshed out.
The performances are brilliant. Jonah Hill has fantastic phrasing and delivery as always and really suits the fast paced dialogue. French Stewart gives an equally great performance as Allen's manipulative father along with a personal favourite, Keith David, who's velvety smooth voice is always a joy to hear ;) Some of the humour can rely on shock a bit too heavily but the dialogue really stands out at times with its characters making small remarks that get lost in the sea of, usually, Allen or Richard's obnoxiousness. They represent a type of person perfectly and the frustration of the supporting characters is definitely felt.
If you're a stalwart fan of comedians such as Michael Mcintyre, that make you go "Oh my life is like that!" or require your main characters to learn a life lesson while backed by soft piano music then you will probably hate this show. But if you're not looking to befriend fictional characters, you may find an enjoyable show with some brilliant dialogue.
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