Adult Swim-style “comedy” comes to Fox Sunday nights.
Defender of Zephyria, Conqueror of the tribes of Agon, decapitator of the dark herdsmen of Grith…if Zorn sounds cartoonish, there’s a reason: he is literally a cartoon character, who is able to step out of his cartoon adventures and enter the real, live-action world. There, he seeks to reconnect with his geeky teenage son Alan, forge a friendship with his remarried ex-wife Edie, and hold down an industrial sales job under his boss Linda, real humans who live in suburbia and have real problems…not the least of which is a cartoon barbarian destroying the boardroom and chopping off the heads of their neighbors’ pets.
Son of Zorn’s blend of animation and live-action, and its extremely obvious and heavy-handed “satire” on cartoons like He-Man and the Masters of the Universe would be ideal on a cable network like Adult Swim; but while Sunday night is traditionally adult animation time on Fox, this program is bizarre even by the standards of The Simpsons and Family Guy.
The animated segments are far bloodier than the cartoons they are parodying (and that’s supposedly part of the joke), with animated characters being killed in splats of blood, and Zorn himself boasting of feats like “drinking the blood of my fallen enemies out of the skulls of their children.” Meanwhile, the live-action segments are a tired rehash of a “irresponsible dad tries to make amends” story clumsily contrasted with Zorn’s barbarian character. The resultant “humor” is leaden at best, with jokes about Zorn drawing his sword on his co-workers, calling a waitress “whore,” et cetera, as well as crudely joking with Edie about “that fivesome we had with the mountain trolls” and suchlike.
The entire premise might’ve made for a mildly clever short feature; but 10 minutes of barbarian posturing in the real world is one thing; 13 weeks of it is another. (Luckily, there’s no way this series will last 13 weeks.) Parents are duly warned that children watching Son of Zorn will be exposed to gory cartoon violence, foul language, inappropriate sexual innuendo, and “comedy” that could seriously stunt the growth of their sense of humor.
Son of Zorn premieres Sunday, September 11 at 8:00 p.m. ET on Fox.