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Crass and unfunny: Steer clear of animated comedy ‘Bordertown’

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Bordertown Sundays, 9:30 p.m., Fox.

Seth MacFarlane’s toxic influence continues to infest Fox’s Sunday-night animated lineup with the premiere of Bordertown, a crass and excruciatingly unfunny comedy executive-produced by the Family Guy mastermind and created by longtime Family Guy writer and producer Mark Hentemann. Bordertown presents a pair of obnoxious, irritating Griffin-like families in the boorish Buckwalds and the smug Gonzalezes, who live next door to each other in the fictional American town of Mexifornia, right on the Mexican border. Buckwald patriarch Bud (voiced by Hank Azaria) is a belligerent nativist who works as a Border Patrol agent, while Mexican immigrant Ernesto Gonzalez (voiced by Nicholas Gonzalez) runs his own landscaping business.

The first two episodes center on, respectively, a restrictive new immigration law and the building of a border wall, so Hentemann certainly has his focus down. But the humor on Bordertown is more juvenile than satirical, full of Family Guy-style nonsensical cutaway jokes and bizarre tangents (a subplot in the pilot involves Bud’s co-worker repeatedly being abducted by aliens). The jokes that do take on topical issues rely on cheap stereotypes (about both Mexicans and working-class whites) rather than anything insightful. The character design makes everyone look ugly and vapid, which at least matches the dialogue that comes out of their mouths.

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