Reviewed by Jámon Y. Huevos
I’ll bet two-hundred bucks that at the end of every day of shooting, the cast of The War at Home went to dinner at a swanky glass and steel restaurant and said, “If we just had some good writers, this show could really take off.” Meanwhile, at a Denny’s across town, the writers ate their Grand Slams and lamented with, “If we just had some decent actors, this show…” The truth, though, is everybody associated with this trash is at fault and should be held accountable.
The War at Home: The Complete First Season wants to be a very modern, very hip sitcom for, I guess, politically incorrect liberals. Michael Rapaport plays Dave Gold, an insurance salesman with a pretty wife and three spunky kids. Rapaport is great in movies, lame on television. Somebody must have told him to ham it the hell up because he does and then he does some more. Rapaport has better comic timing than this which is why I’m sure he went home each night and screamed about the writing.
Dave’s wife Vicky, played by Anita Barone, has the better role as a mother who has to come down on her children for doing all the things she used to do just fifteen years earlier. That joke, however, wears thin quick. The Golds have three children, Hillary, Larry, and Mike, and surprise, surprise, each one has a completely different personality with quirky traits. Hillary is the hot daughter with a brain and heart—not since Married with Children has a television show so thoroughly encouraged middle-aged men to consider criminal sexual penetration of an underage girl. Larry is in the show so the father can make “fag” jokes about his own son. And, folks, I don’t mean “gay” jokes; these are definitely “fag” jokes. Youngest son Mike is in the show to give us an idea what a normal kid is supposed to look like. This way, if we aren’t sure what is meant to be a funny character trait, we can look to Mike for a view of “normality.”
The War at Home: The Complete First Season is an absolute wreck from episode one to episode way-too-many. The acting is stilted and clumsy. The writing is obvious and trite. The “clever monologues, flashbacks, flash-forwards and confessionals” (back of the box b.s.) are not clever, and the word “confessional” is about as misused as a goldfish in a Chinese restaurant. There are some special features; unaired scenes that were unaired and not meant to be seen, and a gag reel which is appropriately titled.
Recommendation: Buy a copy of The War at Home: The Complete First Season and take it back to your trailer home where you can yuck it up in the same sweaty chair you use to masturbate to Adult Swim.