(Sundays, 8:30 p.m. ET) is in trouble. And not just because it has been named Worst TV Show of the Week after only the October 30th
series premiere, due to its bizarre, age-inappropriate sexual content. Critics
have panned it, and viewers have ignored it.
Mike Hale of The New York Times wrote in his review:
“A fundamental problem with the new Fox cartoon Allen Gregory
— though not the biggest one — is that it’s never clear what the show is
satirizing. But…conceptual fuzziness isn’t the main problem. That would be the
And despite being sandwiched in between Fox stalwarts The
Simpsons and Family Guy, the program debuted weakly, posting a 2.4
Nielsen share (4.77 million viewers) – a whopping 50% drop off from its lead-in.
Allen Gregory feels like the sort of show only Hollywood executives would love,
and they mistakenly presumed the average viewers would as well. The title
character is a pushy, egotistical seven-year-old boy who speaks, as Hale noted,
like Hollywood talent agent Ari Gold from Entourage. Allen Gregory’s
dialogue is peppered with references to wine, PBS shows, and posh restaurants.
One suspects the writers hoped that such urbane references uttered by a
seven-year old would come off as precocious, but instead it’s merely annoying.
Had the show stopped at annoying, it wouldn’t have drawn the PTC’s
attention. Unfortunately, the show went from unimpressive to unwatchable when it
took a decidedly revolting turn by depicting Allen Gregory’s sexual fantasies of
his elderly principal.
After sipping Pinot grigio during lunch, Allen Gregory is
sent to the principal’s office, where he takes one look at her ample behind and
immediately drifts into erotic reverie. He daydreams about cruising in a
convertible with the top down with his grey-haired vixen riding shotgun in a
low-cut dress. He ogles her hairy cleavage; on the beach, he rubs suntan lotion
on her back as she sunbathes topless; on a roller coaster ride, he places his
hand on her varicose-etched thighs. For the coup de grace, Allen Gregory
and the principal retreat to a motel room.
Allen: “Let me ask you something. Is it just like a complete mess
Principal: “I'm gonna level with you. It's like post-Katrina.”
Allen: “Damn it, you're perfect.”
Allen Gregory reclines on the bed. The lights go out. In the
Principal (moaning): “Allen Gregory, Allen Gregory...”
We at the PTC weren’t the only ones with our eyebrows
raised after this scene. Brian Lowry of Variety wrote:
still surprising to see a second-grader presented as being infatuated with his
sixtysomething teacher, and the eager-to-please school board urging her to
indulge those fantasies. (Don't look now, but your boycott campaign from the
Parents Television Council is doubtless already in the mail.)”
Actually, Mr. Lowry, we technically don’t call them boycotts, but rather
“campaigns.” And for now we’re willing to wait to see how frequently the show
dips into this putrid well. But, if the ratings are any indication, viewers
might already be one step ahead of us.
sexual content between a child and an elderly woman, the series premier of
Allen Gregory from October 30th has received the title of
Worst TV Show of the Week.
Parents Television Council,
Clean Up TV Now, Because our children are watching, The
nation's most influential advocacy organization, Protecting
children against sex, violence and profanity in
entertainment, Parents Television Council Seal of Approval,
and Family Guide to Prime Time Television
are trademarks of the Parents Television Council.