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TV Series Review

It's not easy being a dad. And don't think for a second that getting paid $300 a week to impersonate somebody's pops changes things all that much.

Ron Snuffkin is a sporting-goods clerk/do-nothing slacker who's used to living out of his car, frying bacon in tinfoil on his dashboard and telling tales as tall as his backseat junk pile. Usually his fibs are designed to help him avoid paying a debt or a serious beat-down by one of a dozen people he's lied to lately. When they're not, he's just trying to get out of work. And that makes him, for the three Gunderson boys, a perfect fake father.

His job? Sleep in the tool shed and stay out of the way unless one brother happens to impale another one with a crossbow bolt—or the neighbors start wondering where all the adults are.

The Gunderson brothers consist of teenage sensitive guy Brandon, tweenish pragmatic leader Gary and maniacal youngster Robby. Where's their Mom? "Out of the picture." Dad? Cooling his heels in jail for perpetrating a Ponzi scheme. Not that the kids mind too much. They've got a bundle of cash stashed by their dad before he, um, departed. And since they don't want to be separated and sent to foster homes, it seems like moving to Tucson and starting a new life is the right thing to do. All they need is a liar willing to sign the right forms and convince the right authorities that he's the adult in charge.

Tyler Labine, as Ron, delivers comic energy as he plays the same disheveled slug he's perfected on other TV outings (primarily on Reaper). But the jokes he's given are little more than retreads. Adults are buffoons. Booze and bad words flow freely. It's the same old shtick we've seen time after time after time. So much so that it's barely even noteworthy anymore that parents are deemed an unnecessary appendage. Or that the situations that create the sit part of this sitcom are both immoral and crass.

If that all sounds to you like a live-action version of some Family Guy/American Dad/The Simpsons/The Cleveland Show mash-up, you're in the right neighborhood. Created with the help of some of the minds behind Malcolm in the Middle, Sons of Tucson is merely Fox's latest stab at trying to drum up bored brains during prime time.

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SonsofTucson: 3212010



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Tyler Labine as Ron Snuffkin; Frank Dolce as Gary Gunderson; Matthew Levy as Brandon Gunderson; Benjamin Stockham as Robby Gunderson






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Bob Hoose

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