FX has two hit comedies on its hands with “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “Archer.” So when the network had the chance to combine the minds from these show into a new animated series, it makes sense that they gave it a green light. If only things worked out the way they look on paper.
“Unsupervised” follows two teen misfits Gary (Justin Long) and Joel (David Hornsby) whose parents are never around — thus the title. Because the two have no actual adult guidance in their lives, they have carte blanche to do whatever they want. This results in the two conducting “Jackass“-type stunts and doing generally irresponsible things. If all this sounds familiar, it’s because the show is essentially “Beavis and Butt-head” without the musical interludes…or the laughs.
In the pilot, Gary and Joel realize that they’re behind the curve in terms of getting girls. So they decide the surefire way to remedy that situation is to…you guessed it…throw a party. The voice of reason on the show is their friend Megan (Kristen Bell), who has more than a little bit of former “Beavis and Butt-head” character Daria in her. But, try as she might, she is unable to dissuade them from their plans. The show also features a bevy of cliches including jocks, hot chicks, nerds, etc. The pilot builds up to the party and, in the end, a number of things go awry.
The two main characters are basically indistinguishable and offer none of the comedy that their made shows like “It’s Always Sunny” and “Archer” such successes. Rather than working dark or hyperbolic, they play it straight. And an animated comedy that doesn’t exaggerate or take advantage of the medium typically doesn’t pan out. But even leaving that aside, the biggest problem with “Unsupervised” is that it’s just not funny. The jokes are predictable and flat. And in a comedy, this poses a major problem.
“Unsupervised” debuts Thursday (Jan. 19) on FX at 10:30 p.m. ET.