This excruciatingly one-note animation/live-action hybrid comedy is filled with jokes that seem more automated than written,
at least in the pilot episode. Jason Sudeikis turns in a bare-minimum performance as the voice of Zorn, an 8-foot-tall ’80s
cartoon warrior from the island of Zephyria, who catches a plane to the human world of Orange County, Calif., in an attempt
to reconnect with his 17-year-old son, Alangulon (Johnny Pemberton), a nerdy high school senior who prefers to be called Alan.
Cheryl Hines co-stars as Zorn’s ex-wife, Edie, who has put her barbarian days way behind her. “Did you get bangs?” she asks
Zorn when he rings her doorbell.
“Remember the time we had that fivesome with the mountain trolls?” Zorn asks her, perhaps hoping to rekindle a spark.
“That was the old me,” she sighs, and introduces him to her fiance, Craig (Tim Meadows), but Zorn still thinks he has a chance
to woo her. (“Don’t act like you’ve never ridden a death hawk, Edie,” Zorn reminds her. “I was 19,” she replies. “I was coked
out of my mind.”) The rapport is sometimes witty (the laughs are merely smirks), and the mixing of animation and live-action
surprisingly hasn’t come all that far since the Roger Rabbit days. The humans involved still look like they’re trying to figure out the dynamics of acting with a co-star who isn’t really
Zorn decides to stay (for as long as Fox will air him, I suppose), finding an apartment and getting a cubicle job where, he
says, his superior (Artemis Pebdani) “dresses exactly like a woman.” That’s because she is a woman. It’s just one more way “Son of Zorn” ceaselessly hammers home its protagonist’s vain disregard for our eco-conscious,
tech-driven, diverse culture. It gets old the minute it starts.