TV Review: ‘Unusually Thicke’

Unusually Thicke TV Review

Look at it from TV Guide Network’s perspective: The channel can’t afford “Modern Family” reruns, much less a scripted approximation. So it has replicated a small part of that hit on the cheap in “Unusually Thicke,” a reality-sitcom hybrid that casts 67-year-old TV personality Alan Thicke as the irascible husband, and his 28-years-younger (and more curvaceous) third wife, Tanya, as his sparring spouse. Filled with celebrity cameos, the show works so far as viewers are willing to play along, although for the target demo, Thicke has probably been relegated to, “Oh, you mean Robin’s dad?” consideration.

As has become status quo in these shows, the program dispenses with formal introductions and dives right in, gradually doling out information about the couple and Thicke’s young son, Carter, who lives with them.

In the premiere, Tanya gripes about Alan’s pack-rat ways, pushing him to get rid of all the junk he’s collected. (Of course, being Canadian — the show also benefits from Canadian financial credits — his hockey skates are immediately deemed off-limits.)

Carter, meanwhile, sees a garage sale as both a solution to the clutter and a money-making scheme for himself, before it’s decided all proceeds should go to charity. For her part, Tanya grouses about Alan to a “Real Housewives”-like cadre of friends that includes actress Minnie Driver, while Alan enlists pal Bob Saget to drop by the sale, a bit like those old cameos on “I Love Lucy.” (As was true then, a performer’s willingness to play along would seem to offer a small referendum on the present state of their career.)

In most respects, “Unusually Thicke” is more staged than most sitcoms, and Thicke’s history as a sitcom dad (“Growing Pains”) and latenight host (honest, kids, he had his own show back before you were born) has helped him cultivate his repertoire of deadpan looks and direct-to-camera winks.

The show also finds TV Guide at something of a crossroads, with deep-pocketed owners in Lionsgate and CBS that obviously have bigger plans for the low-key but widely distributed channel.

So although it represents only a small dab of powder in a larger makeover, “Unusually Thicke” is a signal the host network won’t be content just to round up the usual suspects.

TV Review: 'Unusually Thicke'

(Series; TV Guide Network, Wed. April 16, 10 p.m.)


Produced by Peacock Alley Entertainment and Thicke of Things One Inc.


Executive producers, Carrie Mudd, Alan Thicke; series producer, Christopher Nelson; producer, Daniel Oron; director, Ian Macdonald; story producer, Catherine Peterson; camera, Stephen Chung; supervising editor, Michael Henry; theme, Thicke; music, Jingle Punks. 30 MIN.


With: Alan Thicke, Tanya Thicke

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  1. Tik Birk says:

    I like it.. I think it is hilarious and a breath of fresh air.. I like that Tanya is unlike any other so called housewife on air currently. You never know what will come out of her mouth or what she will do.. Carter is the straight laced one out of all of them. I like that Alan Thicke is not afraid to poke fun at himself. “The Thickenator” that was something I never thought I would see on a t.v show not to mention an entire episode about penis enlargement pills… LOL If this adult situation show bothers some so much, then go back to watching a Christian broadcast network.. This show is for grownups!

    • Precious17 says:

      A show for “grownups’ who are somewhat intellectually challenged(I’m trying to be kind, perhaps you just need to not expect too much in the way of “adult” entertainment.

  2. ACE says:

    What a phony “reality’ show! This aging “personality” has a wife who gets herself photographed with her “friend ” holding her breasts and they all discuss the implications if it goes viral, ignoring the fact that the photo is already on view on the TV show! And this teenage son has to witness this and his father discussing advertising penis pills( the moral turpitude is so apparent, he doesn’t say he needs the pill, or if he has ED or a small penis) but is prepared to advertise just for the money. An awful show with shallow self absorbed characters just like all the other TV “reality” garbage.

  3. Ryan Hebert says:

    I enjoy watching this show… And to all the people out there thinking its real, its not… Of course its scripted, its part reality part sitcom.. Anyways go Alan.. Love it..

  4. deedee says:

    I just watched the episode where Alan is asked to do a commercial. The show was so funny and I loved it! I read somewhere that it is half sitcom and half reality and I love it that way. This show is so good. I have watched this every Wednesday since it aired. I grew up watching Growing Pains and I love Unusually Thicke. Alan is great, Tonya is so adorable and their son is so funny. I love the show, good job!

  5. Deborah says:

    My deceased (2005) mom watched very little tv & allowed us even less, we had to read. However, we all watched her favorite show Growing Pains, she loved Cameron & Alan’s characters. Watching Unisually Thicke because of Alan brings back fond memories, but mainly his wit is like my mom’s, hilarious.

  6. Bjorn says:

    I cringed when I watched this show! I could not believe how terribly infantile this concept is and how incredibly boring this family is! Everything about this series is so scripted and fake and how Alan keeps using Robin to sell, sell, sell is sick. Alan comes off as creepy and Tanya his wife comes off just as a complete Hollywood Gold digger wife. The son Carter looks so incredibly uncomfortable and out of place, I really feel sorry for him as it appears that he is being persuaded to be on this show. Alan Thicke obviously is trying to cash in on this concept of ‘reality’ which we all know by now, that none of these shows have a millisecond of reality to them: and this one is by far the worst!

  7. Laurie says:

    I think this show is hilarious and I love it
    Alan Thicke is the real deal and his humour is incredibly unique
    Bring it on Bring more on

  8. Kathy says:

    It is horrible! He looks like he is playing a dirty old man. Creepy….. Do he and his son have some sort of sex addiction. It seems that is the only thing they can talk about.

  9. mxnt41 says:

    Just broadcast Paul F Tomkins doing his impression and show a still photo.

  10. Jocelyne says:

    Please take this Reality show of Allen Thicke and his family Off. The worst I have ever seen. So bad.

  11. ThomT says:

    To some this might look like a step down for Thicke. Actually it should be considered a step up for a career that had been relegated to satellite radio commercials for some tax bailout company. I won’t watch but it has nothing to do with Thicke, I’m simply see little entertainment value in the never ending phony “reality” show concept.

  12. Donn says:

    Alan is a man ho. Robin knows. Alan is an attention ho. Pathetic. I won’t watch.

  13. rocky-o says:

    don’t ask me why, but i have always loved alan thicke…sure, ‘growing pains’ was a goofy sitcom, but his latenite show, ‘thicke of the night’ was pretty cool, till the network got involved…i even still have (somewhere) a copy of him singing the theme song on a 45…(that’s vinyl for you kids out there…)…and it just goes to show how cd’s have ruined music…vinyl even made alan thicke sound cool…

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