Review – Family Time
Family Time – Bounce – 9:00pm Monday – USA
In the world of television there are bad shows and then there are BAD shows. There are shows that not only have bad writing, bad acting and bad jokes but there are shows that have bad editing, bad lighting, bad set design. These BAD shows often seem to be the work of people who have never before been tasked with putting together a television program. Whatever problems sitcoms like Rob or Work It had (and both had plenty) one complaint you couldn’t level at either show was ‘and the sets looked like they were about to collapse’; not so for Family Time. This super-low-budget sitcom is the worst show you will see all year.
Family Time looks like it was made by scraping together the change found down the back of the couch. Before you even get to the clichéd storytelling, the lazy acting, the lousy jokes, the obviously canned laughter, the broad stereotypes or any one of the many, many elements that make this show so utterly banal and completely unwatchable you first have to gawk at how utterly horrid the show looks. After we’re quickly introduced to the premise – a family from the ghetto win $500,000 and are moving on up – we get an atrocious opening credits sequence that makes most YouTube videos look like Hugo. It comes complete with the following song lyrics:
“Woke up and my wife said to me the bill collectors want their fees, the kids keep talking back to me, FAMILY TIME, scrub the dishes, take out the trash, history homework sometimes math, the kids are going ‘free at last’, FAMILY TIME, family time, family time, family time, go on sing it again, family time.”
What does any of that even mean? This is one of the most gobsmackingly terrible sitcoms you will ever come across in your life. It just reeks of incompetence at every level. The joke I made earlier about the sets looking like they are about to fall apart isn’t a joke. I’ve seen Saturday Night Live sketches that put more effort into their sets, heck, I’ve seen MadTV sketches that put more effort into their sets. This is a shoddy half-hour of bland laughless nothingness. The premise is ripped from other far more successful sitcoms and feels kind of offensive in 2012 (“A black family? With money? They must have won the lottery!”). The acting is so ham-fisted that even if the dialogue wasn’t completely terrible the actors would still step all over the lines.
The cheapness of the sets and the lousy acting might be forgiven if this supposed comedy possessed something resembling a sense of humour but here are a couple of examples of jokes that score laughs from the obviously-not-there studio audience:
“Girl, you can get an iPad when you get your own pad.”
“Saved by the yell!”
“Come on Ebony, let’s go pick out our new rooms.”
“I already picked out my room; THE BIGGER ONE.”
The cast of characters includes a cute little girl who loses her doll, a wacky tween boy who acts like a wannabe gangsta, a wife who’s always right, a dopey dad and an overbearing mother-in-law. This a generic, lazy, poorly put together, barely thought out, half-assed production (even the sound mix is bad). Family Time looks and feels like the last thing everybody involved did right before getting hammered. If you called up any person on this show and said “hey, were you in Family Time?” I would not be shocked to learn they either denied it had ever happened or had completely erased it from their memory. This is a BAD show in every single way it could possibly be bad and I highly doubt we’ll see a worse show come along all year.
Good, Alright, Bad Or Ugly?