Review: The War at Home

Show: The War at Home
Episode: Series Premiere
Originally Aired: Sunday, September 11th 2005

Quick Synopsis: A sitcom about a dad and mom and their three teenage children.

Long Synopsis: The show starts out with the father standing on the screen by himself talking about his father and how The Mary Tyler Moore Show screwed everything up for men. Then it goes into the show where he and his wife deal with their 13-year-old who wants a new PlayStation video game system, their 15-year-old weird son and his male friend, and their 16-year-old daughter who wants to date a college freshman. During the show there are many jumps to the empty screen with just one character or another talking directly to the audience in regards to what is happening in the present scene.

Review: This happened to be a funny show. I actually laughed out loud a few times. That is always a good sign for a sitcom. The viewer discretion warning at the beginning of the show was needed. This show would probably be more appropriate in the second hour of primetime than the first.

I liked the blank white screen with just one character talking directly to the audience. These were some of the funniest moments. They could be most closely related to the daydream sequences on Scrubs. Breaking out from the story where you get to see what the character is thinking. Such as the scene of the father at the dinner table hearing of his daughter’s date with an older boy who drives, it cuts to him on the white screen talking about how he needs to handle this calmly and rationally. Then it jumps back to the scene as he flies out of his chair screaming that it isn’t going to happen. These scenes were timed well and provided most of the laughs during the episode.

On the bad side, the laugh track was real annoying at the beginning of the show. It seemed to fade into the show as it went on becoming less noticeable. I am not sure if they toned it down or I just got used to it. Either way I think it would be better without. I wish more sitcoms would go the Arrested Development route in regards to canned laughter. The audience knows when something is funny. Also something seemed a little bit crude about the show. It is not that the jokes were overly raunchy. Or, more than you might hear on other sitcoms. It just seemed more in your face, less tactful. I can’t quite put my finger on it.

So if you are looking for a little comedy instead of drama on Sunday nights then the one-two punch of the Simpsons and The War at Home might be just what you are looking for.

Rating: 2½ out of 4 Stars

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Jason the TVaholic
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