SON OF ZORN celebrates Christmas and the ancient Zephyrian holiday of revenge, Grafelnik, by producing the best episode thus far in the series. The entire cast delivers, especially Tim Meadows, who has fully mastered Craig. The reliable stream of clever, laugh-out-loud jokes combined with each cast member seemingly honing in on their roles’ respective sweet spots results in the some of the best moments I’ve seen on TV in a long time.
It’s Christmas time in Edie’s house and she, Alan, and Craig are decorating when Zorn bursts in dressed as Vengeful Vick, the mascot of the Zephyrian holiday of revenge: Grafelnik. Alan actually thinks it sounds pretty cool and Zorn is eager to share the Zephyrian tradition with him. However, upon finding out that Grafelnik falls on December 25 this year, Zorn and Edie begin fighting over whether Alan should spend Christmas with Edie or Grafelnik with Zorn. They end up making Alan choose. Alan decides to take this opportunity to trick his parents into competing for his love by seeing who can buy him better presents. Craig has his own Christmas struggles as he tries to overcome his intense fear of Santa Clause. His phobia began when he was a child and his father dressed up as Santa for Christmas to surprise him. Unfortunately the only one who was surprised was his mother, who was mid coitus with another man. Craig proceeded to watch Santa Clause beat the a man within an inch of his life, an event that scarred him forever. Edie suggests surround himself with Santa until he is forced to overcome his fear so Craig decides to sit on Santa’s lap at the mall every day.
Now begins my raving review. Let’s start with the jokes. The joke rate was impressive and consistent with a steady stream flowing evenly throughout the episode. The writing has steadily improved and the show’s decision to parody the classic sitcom plots is helpful as it allows the viewer to focus on the jokes instead of what’s going to happen next. Using such played out plots also allows the show to turn them on their heads, which creates for even more joke opportunities. The roles are also becoming more defined, which is allowing the show to progress. Craig’s storyline was so funny this time around because it is something that Craig would actually do. Of course Craig would get be afraid of Santa Clause and deal with it by sitting on Santa’s lap at the mall every day. With such strong comedic bases, the characters can practically write for themselves. The strong characterization is also largely due to the cast, who have fallen into their roles perfectly. Johnny Pemberton started out as a typical awkward high schooler. Now he’s not only got the awkward part down, but he’s now in full control of Alan, meaning we get to see Alan when he’s actually confident and how funny that can be. Cheryl Hines was all over the place in the beginning with Edie. Now she’s much more interesting as a suburban mom whose wild past means she isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty.
What more can I say? The show is good! Everyone involved has managed to create a new world of comedy. The characters are settling in, making each episode better than the last. The writing is fantastic with jokes that aren’t too weird but still unique. The show is evolving fast and this week’s episode is the proof. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch it immediately.
Season 1, Episode 9 (S01E09)
Son of Zorn airs Sunday at 830PM on Fox
Max Ouweleen | Contributor