Son of Zorn’ quickly exhausts its one-joke premise

Zorn, housedad of Orange County.

Two stars

Son of Zorn Sundays, 8:30 p.m. (premieres September 11, 8 p.m.), Fox.

Sort of a foul-mouthed, more violent version of He-Man, along with a bit of Conan the Barbarian, Zorn (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) looks like he stepped out of a cheap 1980s Saturday morning cartoon, and the incongruity of seeing him among the live-action Southern California suburbs is pretty much the only joke Son of Zorn has to offer. Leaving the fantasy realm of Zephyria (where he fights alongside other ridiculous animated heroes and villains) for Orange County, Zorn decides to get an apartment and an office job so he can be closer to his teenage son Alan (Johnny Pemberton) and his ex-wife Edie (Cheryl Hines), neither of whom particularly wants him around.

The idea of He-Man as a deadbeat dad is funny enough for an absurdist sketch, but it’s stretched thin over the course of a single half-hour episode, let alone an entire season. The deliberately rudimentary animation mixes poorly with the more sophisticated live action, so that any character interacting with Zorn is very obviously an actor talking to an empty space. That’s also part of the joke, but like all of the humor in the show, it gets old before it even comes around the second time.

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