×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Unsupervised

"Unsupervised" is the latest variation on sex-obsessed teenage losers, conceptually easy to confuse with MTV's "Good Vibes" or, for that matter, "Beavis and Butt-head."

With:
Gary - Justin Long
Joel - David Hornsby
Megan - Kristen Bell
Darius - Romany Malco
Russ - Rob Rosell

Comedy writers have gotten wise about pushing boundaries involving minors — recognizing that animation lets them be as nasty as they wanna be. Enter “Unsupervised,” the latest variation on sex-obsessed teenage losers, conceptually easy to confuse with MTV’s “Good Vibes” or, for that matter, “Beavis and Butt-head.” Produced by the team behind “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” (featuring older doofuses), the new half-hour benefits from a sprightly, low-brow tone that should mesh well enough with “Archer” and find a modest following on FX, which has made recent comedy inroads after owing most of its success to drama.

“Unsupervised” draws its title from the absentee parents or step-parents who allow teen numbskulls Gary (voiced by Justin Long) and pal Joel (David James Hornsby, recently of “How to Be a Gentleman,” and one of the co-creators) to pretty much run amok. Not surprisingly, their main preoccupation is girls, and in the premiere, they host a raucous party in their feeble pursuit of them.

While there are outside adults in the picture, most of them are complete screw-ups, if not outright loons. In the second half-hour, the boys are so desperate for dental work they even try to hook up Gary’s waterpipe-hitting stepmom (“It’s Always Sunny’s” Kaitlin Olson) with a classmate’s dad because he’s dentist.

Raunchy and rude, “Unsupervised” is redeemed slightly by the chipper outlook of its protagonists, flanked by a circle of misfits that includes an overweight friend (Romany Malco) and goody-two-shoes (Kristen Bell) whose efforts to steer kids away from sex and drugs never quite pan out. Mostly, it’s the perverse version of Charlie Brown, leveraging today’s shattered nuclear families to riff on what young boys would do if left completely to their own devices.

Although light on laughs, with its spare design and limited animation “Unsupervised” does create a reasonably cohesive, grimy little world, made tolerable by the absence of actual kids. (Fox did much the same, less effectively, with “Allen Gregory,” which suggests there is a cut-off point at which precocious animated kids graduate from crude to creepy.)

In a sense, FX appears to be narrowing its comedy aspirations in a way the channel hasn’t with its dramas, which are gritty and male-skewing but not as exclusionary as these half-hours, whose sweet spot is limited to a young-male demo, much like Gary and Joel, hypnotized by boobs and bodily functions.

Then again, that’s perhaps primarily a commentary on the niche-oriented world in which we live today, kids. Just don’t tell you parents.

Unsupervised

FX, Thurs. Jan. 19, 10:30 p.m.

Production: Credits: Produced by Floyd County Prods. and the Professional Writing Co. Executive producers, Rob Rosell, Scott Marder, David Hornsby, Matt Thompson, Adam Reed, Glenn Howerton, Charlie Day, Rob McElhenney; producer, Eric Sims; animation director, Todd Redner; writers, Rosell, Marder, Hornsby; art director, Jeff Faster; lead animator, Jason Schwartz; music, Steve "Minks" Burton, JC Richardson. 30 MIN. Voices

Cast: Gary - Justin Long
Joel - David Hornsby
Megan - Kristen Bell
Darius - Romany Malco
Russ - Rob Rosell
With: Fred Armisen, Maria Bamford, Scott Marder, Kaitlin Olson, Andre Sogliuzzo, Alexa Vega, Sally Kellerman.

More TV

  • Stephen Colbert

    Stephen Colbert Mocks Former CBS Chief Leslie Moonves on 'Late Show'

    Leslie Moonves was known to take an active dislike of David Letterman making fun of him during that host’s tenure on CBS’ “The Late Show.” He probably isn’t enjoying being mentioned by Stephen Colbert either. Colbert used his monologue on Tuesday’s broadcast to poke fun at the former CBS Corp. CEO, who yesterday learned that [...]

  • Ruth Wilson and Idris Elba'Luther Series

    'Luther' Creator Neil Cross Working on Show's Movie Version, Idris Elba Says

    A movie version of crime series “Luther” is moving forward, with writer-creator Neil Cross working on the script, the show’s star Idris Elba confirmed at the launch of Season 5 in London. “We are really advancing on getting a movie version [of the show] up on the screen,” Elba said. “Neil is beavering away on [...]

  • THE VOICE -- "Blind Auditions" --

    TV News Roundup: NBC Announces Midseason Premiere Dates

    In today’s roundup, NBC reveals midseason premiere dates for six shows, including “The Voice.” DATES  NBC has announced midseason premiere dates for four returning and two new series. “The Voice” will air Feb. 25 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, Feb. 26 at 8 p.m., and March 5 at 8 p.m. It will return April 23 at 8 [...]

  • David Rhodes CBS News

    CBS News Faces New Challenges in Weeks Ahead

    At CBS News, President David Rhodes has a series of important decisions to make that could affect the trajectories of some of TV’s best-known news programs. As its parent company seeks to move forward from recent seismic events – the ouster of its former CEO, Leslie Moonves; a corporate probe into its workplace culture; and [...]

  • European Union Placeholder

    Europe, Hollywood Hail Landmark E.U. Territorial Licensing Agreement

    Industry organizations and major companies in Europe and Hollywood welcomed Tuesday a high-level European Union agreement that in large part preserves producers’ ability to sell movies and TV shows on an exclusive territory-by-territory basis. Territorial licensing is a financial backbone of the film and TV business in Europe. Recognition of such licensing came last Thursday in [...]

  • Queer as Folk UK Version

    'Queer as Folk' Reboot in Development at Bravo (EXCLUSIVE)

    In a competitive situation, Bravo is developing a new version of “Queer as Folk,” Variety has learned exclusively. Russell T. Davies, the creator of the original UK series, is onboard the new project as an executive producer. Stephen Dunn is attached to write, direct, and executive produce. Nicola Shindler of Red Productions, who executive produced the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content