×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Home Movies

In a midseason inundated with new, animated series, "Home Movies" manages to set itself apart, offering clever dialogue and sharp social commentary. With its patented Squigglevision, the UPN series, from the creators of "Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist," may not be the prettiest on the block, but at least it's in the running for one of the funniest.

With:
Voices of: Paula Small - Paula Poundstone Brendon Small - Brendon Small Coach McGuirk - H. Jon Benjamin Melissa - Melissa Bardin Galsky Jason - H. Jon Benjamin

In a midseason inundated with new, animated series, “Home Movies” manages to set itself apart, offering clever dialogue and sharp social commentary. With its patented Squigglevision, the UPN series, from the creators of “Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist,” may not be the prettiest on the block, but at least it’s in the running for one of the funniest.

Brendon Small (voiced by Brendon Small) is an asthmatic 8-year-old who routinely corrals his bespectacled baby sister Josie, best friend Melissa and snot-nosed neighbor Jason to star in his ultra-low-budget movies, like “The Dark Side of the Law.” Filled with every movie cliche, recurring themes include imprisonment, betrayal and heartbreak — all reflective of Brendon’s outlook on life.

The atrocities of Brendon’s life are more or less a figment of his overly dramatic imagination, although his is a less-than-perfect life. Small for his age, Brendon makes a valiant attempt at team sports, but prefers hiding behind the lens of his video camera. Brendon’s mother Paula (Paula Poundstone) is a recent divorcee who proudly wears a big chip on her shoulder along with her trademark baseball cap and sweat pants. Along with silent baby Josie, who spends much of her time in a bouncy seat, the Small world features a revolving door of underdogs and misfits.

The first episode deals with Paula’s first foray back into the world of dating, which, much to Brendon’s horror, involves his soccer coach, Mr. McGuirk (H. Jon Benjamin). McGuirk (rhymes with jerk) is a Neanderthal type whose best attempt at any real coaching boils down to “Don’t get a tattoo, play soccer.” The lonely McGuirk is excited about the prospect of dating Paula, but she’s decided to reveal her bitter side early in the date, so as not to promote false advertising.

Brendon, a smarter version of Bart Simpson, is just as conniving and fallible; making studied remarks to unnerve McGuirk before the big date and taunting him unmercifully the next day at soccer practice.

Put together by a tight-knit group, all of whom double and sometimes triple up on various production duties, the show has the frenetic energy born of heartfelt dedication.

Squigglevision, a distinctive brand of computer animation that is the brainchild of executive producer Tom Snyder — no, not the former latenight host — gives a certain malleable quality to the characters that director Loren Bouchard uses to great effect, especially in the case of the squirmy Brendon.

The voices have the natural rhythm of everyday conversation, the result of what the producers call “retroscripting” — the stars ad-lib during readings. Talent here is up to the task.

Small is a virtual gold mine of material, providing a distinctive voice and hilarious dialogue as Brendon, as well as the catchy theme song and episodic music (penned with the help of Bouchard). Poundstone’s gruff voice and wry comedy are a natural fit for the show, and H. Jon Benjamin, as McGuirk and Jason , also proves to be versatile.

Tech credits are fine.

Home Movies

Monday, April 26, 8:30 P.M., UPN

Production: Originated in Los Angeles and Boston by Tom Snyder Prods. in association with Burns & Burns Prods. Executive producers, Tom Snyder, Loren Bouchard, Bonnie Burns, Mary Catherine Tucker; creator, Bouchard, Brendon Small; director, Bouchard; writers, Small, Jon Benjamin, Bouchard, Paula Poundstone, Melissa Bardin Galsky; art director, Chris Georgenes.

Crew: Editors, Chris Georgenes, Damon Wong; music, Small, Bouchard. Running time: 30 MIN.

Cast: Voices of: Paula Small - Paula Poundstone Brendon Small - Brendon Small Coach McGuirk - H. Jon Benjamin Melissa - Melissa Bardin Galsky Jason - H. Jon Benjamin

More TV

  • Gina Rodriguez'Someone Great' film premiere, Arrivals,

    Gina Rodriguez Apologizes After Rapping N-Word in Deleted Instagram Video

    “Jane The Virgin” star Gina Rodriguez has released an apology video shortly after she used the N-word while rapping along to a Fugees song in a video posted to her Instagram story. In the original video, which has since been deleted, Rodriguez raps along to “Ready or Not” while having her hair and makeup done. [...]

  • Tom Succession

    'Succession' Season 2 Finale Scores Over 1 Million Viewers

    “Succession” concluded its second season with a tense Roy family yacht trip, watched by over 1 million total viewers. According to HBO, 1.1 million total viewers tuned in to Sunday’s finale across all platforms, which is up 12% on the season 1 closer which garnered 1 million sets of eyeballs. The premium cabler expects total [...]

  • 100 Días para Enamorarse

    Pierluigi Gazzolo on Viacom International Studios, the Spanish-language Market

    CANNES —  The L.A. Screenings represented the coming out of Viacom International Studios, which hit the market, then Conecta Fiction in Spain, with a powerful presentation of trailers. The Conecta Fiction lineup signaled that VIS is also open to co-production and collaboration with creators in not only Latin America but far beyond; “To Catch a [...]

  • Lagardere Acquires Spanish Outfit Veranda; Launches

    Lagardere Launches New Production Label Cameron's

    Lagardère Studios is ramping up its content strategy with launch of Cameron’s, a new production label dedicated to international programming. Cameron’s is being created by Jean-Charles Felli and Christophe Tomas, who previously founded Save Ferris Studios. The label will be delivering content mainly for streaming services. Felli and Tomas have tapped Gregory Cantien as managing [...]

  • eSports

    eSports Comedy Scores Put Pilot Order at CBS

    CBS has given out a put pilot order for a comedy set in the world of eSports, Variety has learned. The untitled single-camera series follows a recently retired pro basketball star who attempts to reconnect with his estranged son by buying an eSports franchise. Dan Kopelman will write and executive produce. Aaron Kaplan and Dana [...]

  • David Lindelof Watchmen Premiere

    'Watchmen' Creator Damon Lindelof Weighs in on Martin Scorsese's Marvel Criticisms

    Damon Lindelof disagrees with Martin Scorsese about his recent claims that Marvel movies don’t qualify as cinema. The director’s proclamation, along with the polarized critical reception of “Joker,” are the latest salvos in a long history of questioning comic book movies’ place in cinematic history. The lingering question: Can superhero fare be considered “high art?” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content