My Take on Son of Zorn
From the first moments I laid eyes on the trailer in mid-May to the season finale in late-February, there was always something I saw in Son of Zorn: potential. Whether it fulfilled that potential or not is entirely up in the air. It's unlikely that we'll see anything more of Zorn outside the initial 13-episodes thanks to disappointing ratings so I'll treat this as more of a series recap than a season one.
One thing stands, an animated warrior returning home to his live-action son and ex-wife is a solid concept. The execution is where Zorn falls a bit flat. Many times in the season, I felt that it wouldn't make much difference whether Zorn was on the screen or simply a live-action Jason Sudeikis. Take, for example, the radioactive ex-girlfriend episode. Without the cool animation of Zorn deteriorating after having sex with Wilde's character, it's simply a story about an ex who is jealous that his fiance is engaged, a plotline we have seen countless of times. Another example of this is in the drinking buddy episode. In that episode, an old buddy of Zorn comes to visit, but to Zorn's dismay, he has matured. Son of Zorn may coat the picture with a different color but at the end of the day, it's the same picture.
Don't get me wrong, Zorn does go outside the standard sitcom box many times. One of my favorites is the episode where Zorn uses a body double to get out of work. In the end, the body double is about to self-destruct with Edie, Linda, and Craig attempting to stop it. This episode, while embodying some standard sitcom tropes, brings in a cartoony, or should I say Zephyrian, element, reminiscent of 80's and 90's Saturday morning cartoons. Other episodes like Taste of Zepryia provide a humorous parallel to real life topics like racism without ever actually referencing it.
Outside of the animated warrior, most side-plots featured Alan or Edie & Craig. The character of Craig was easily the best out of this trio, whether he is arguing with Zorn or bonding with Alan, he never strayed away from his "nice guy" personality and gave so much depth to a character that could easily have been a caricature. Linda, the boss at sanitation solutions, was another great character
who Zorn hilariously mistook as a man until he had sex with her.
The character of Alan didn't provide much of the comedy in the season, as he ended up being the stereotypical unpopular kid. Still, his stable demeanor played well off of Zorn's narcissistic one and I felt happy to see him gain popularity, despite being short-lived, in the penultimate episode.
Minor characters ranged from funny to forgetful. Alan's girlfriend, Layla, was there more to move the plot along than be an actual character. On the other hand, Todd, Zorn's co-worker, was a welcome addition to the cast. The few animated character, Headbutt Man and the Radioactive Girlfriend, were the best parts of the meager episodes they were in.
Son of Zorn, like most shows, started out pretty shaky, but the last batch of episodes, starting with "The Battle of Self-Acceptance", have gotten a lot better. The finale itself, on the other hand, felt rather rushed, and the cliffhangers were unnecessary.
Ultimately, Son of Zorn was never a bad show, it simply didn't take full advantage of its potential-rich concept. Nevertheless, there was still more good than bad, and I would be more than open for another season.
Season Grade: B-
What do you think of Son of Zorn? Tell me in the comments below.