All About the Andersons aired from September 2003 until March 2004 on the WB.
Big guy Anthony ( Anthony Anderson) was a struggling actor who, after being abandoned by his wife, moved back into the family home with his cute son, Tuga ( Damani Roberts), in this black sitcom set in Englewood , California. There were plenty of squabbles at home. Although his mother , Flo ( Roz Ryan), a former band singer, was supportive, his cranky father, Joe ( John Amos), wanted Anthony to give up his dream and take a real job working at Joe & Flo's , the family owned beauty salon/barbershop. Joe was not very subtle. To keep Anthony from " freeloading" he locked the refrigerator, rationed the electricity and made him pay rent for the garage where Anthony and Tuga lived. Joe had rented Anthony's bedroom to Lydia ( Aimee Garcia), a feisty young Latina medical student. Between auditions Anthony reluctantly worked at the barbershop where Charlie ( Lou Myers) was one of the other barbers. Many of the stories centered on the relationship between Anthony and Tuga-learning life lessons, coping with problems at school. taking music lessons,etc.
A Review of All About the Andersons
to barber's college
WB sitcom fails to bring its characters together
By A.J. Livsey
All About the Andersons, WB, Friday at 9 p.m.
Telltale quote: Forty grand for college and he's going to end up a poster boy for butt cream.
Overview: Anthony Anderson plays, well, Anthony Anderson an aspiring actor who decides to leave New York City with his young son and move in with his parents in LA. After learning that his old room has been rented out, Anderson is forced to sleep in the garage with Aretha, his dad's prized classic Cadillac.
The show is based loosely on Anderson's real life, including a scene where his mom pays him to break in her new heels. Anderson struggles to be a good father to Tuga and still pursue his dream of acting, while his dad expects him to give up auditioning and help run the barbershop.
Joining the family of four is Dr. George Harvey, the hyperactive second-year resident who's now living in Anderson's room, and Lia, the high school girl next door whose place in the show is unclear and wholly unnecessary.
Verdict: A few feel-good moments between Anderson and his son save the show from sheer idiocy, but otherwise the plot runs out of steam before it makes it out of the starting blocks.
The tension between Anderson and his dad is never more than a flash of disappointment, and the attempted comic diversion of a white doctor living with the family is awkward at best. Even without these complications, the series faces sure cancellation in a poorly matched hour with Grounded for Life.
Another Review of this show
By John Rash
All About the Andersons, WB, Friday at 9 p.m.
Comment: All one needs to know about All About the Andersons is that it has two good actors (Anthony Anderson and John Amos) caught in one schizophrenic script.
This is perplexing because the writer and actor are one in the same, as the story is a semi-autobiographical look at Anthony Anderson's life. Accordingly the Andersons are only semi-interesting. The generational gap between father and son makes for some genuine moments, but the disingenuous subplot of the son slumbering in the garage because a white med student is renting Anthony's room is but a comic contrivance.
But all may not be lost for All About the Andersons, as the more father and son can get together in Dad's barbershop, the sharper this comedy becomes. Which is not surprising, given Anthony Anderson's well-received work in last year's surprise movie hit Barbershop.
Sept. 12, 2003 2003 Media Life
- A.J. Livsey is a senior media planner at the Martin Agency in Richmond.
- John Rash is the director of broadcast negotiations for Campbell Mithun in Minneapolis and teaches Mass Media and Popular Culture at the University of Minnesota's School of Journalism and Mass Communications. His program commentary is excerpted from "Media Impressions," his analysis of the new fall TV season
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