DUNCANVILLE Pilot Review: FOX's Latest Adult Animation Gets A Strong Start

The latest foray into the world of adult animation on the behalf of FOX is called Duncanville and it profits from the comedic minds and talents of Amy Poehler. Check out our review of the pilot below!

Pilots can be the toughest episodes, and sometimes they can be some of the best. The quality of a show is often pre-judged by fans based on what is shown in the first episode as attention spans continue to shorten. Because of this, a lot of work goes into these episodes in the hopes that they will make rather than break the series to come. 

Sometimes the character archetypes are leaned on too hard in the first episode of a series and that can be off-putting and cringy, but that isn't an issue that Duncanville faces. The series picks up with a welcoming feeling and a familiar tone that puts fans at ease as though they already know these characters. Amy Poehler pulls double duty when voicing the titular character and his mother. Duncan's voice evokes memories of the Little Girl Saturday Night Live sketch featuring Poehler while the mother's sometimes sounds like Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation

Duncanville's pilot episode is very strong, with a fast-paced and witty nature that will have you discovering new jokes even after several watches similar to Adult Swim's Rick and Morty. The intro is fun and introduces all of the characters which are voiced by a bountiful cast of comedians and comediennes who aren't strangers to television comedy. The family consists of Duncan and his mother (Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation), his father Jack (Ty Burrell, Modern Family), his sister Kimberly (Riki Lindhome, Garfunkel and Oates), and his youngest sibling Zing (Joy Osmanski).

Rounding out this eclectic and fun cast is his love interest Mia (Rashida Jones, The Office), his teacher Mr. Mitch (Wiz Khalifa, Mack and Devin Go to High School), and his friends group which includes the likes of pervy Wolf, tomboy Bex (Betsy Sodaro, Bob's Burgers), and stoner/hipster Yangzi (Yassir Lester, Black Monday). Speaking of Lester, we have an exclusive interview scheduled with him for tomorrow that will be published soon after so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for that later this week.

The pilot episode focuses on Duncan and his mother over-worrying about him but the other characters in the family have time to shine as well. Ty Burrell's passive father character and Joy Osmanski's witty five year old Jing specifically remind me of Bob and Louise from Bob's Burgers in the best possible way.

Dream sequences also take place at several points in the episode where things get a bit more wild and feel like they have more of a Robot Chicken feel to them, which is never a bad thing. Meanwhile, Wiz Khalifa makes for an excellent addition and the show doesn't shy away from cross-marketing with a mention of the rapper's name in the edibles being sold by Yassir Lester's character, Yangzi. The show firmly sets itself in the adult animation category as it doesn't shy away from raunchiness with the main character's boner having its own voice. 

The first of what is to be a thirteen-episode season of Duncanville hits the ground running without looking back and the combined years of experience between the creative team allows the new series to feel as though its been on for years. If the remainder of the season is anything like what we've already seen fans are in for treats aplenty.

With hits like Bob's Burgers, The Simpsons, and American Dad - Duncanville isn't the first hit FOX has had in the arena of adult animation but based on the quality of the pilot episode its one we hope will be a mainstay on the Network for years to come.

- Four out of Five


Duncanville is a new Adult Animated series from the minds of Amy Poehler (SNL, Parks and Recreation), Mike Scully (The Simpsons, Everybody Loves Raymond), and Julie Thacker (Bojack Horseman) which follows the adventures of Duncan, an average 15 year old boy who is always one step away from making a bad decision. Join Duncan as he navigates through adolescense with the help of his family and friends.

Duncanville Episode 1: Pilot is currently available to stream on Hulu while Episode 2: Red Head Redemption airs tonight at 8:30 pm on FOX.

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