The concept behind Sons of Tucson has been tried before – kids hire someone to stand in as their not-on-hand parents so as not to be taken as wards of the state. And now I feel guilty for saying so – I can’t tell you off the top of my head where it’s been done before – I’ve seen it at least a couple times, and there’s some specific example bouncing around the edges of my brain with orphans hiring the homeless. But that’s not here, nor there; it does not gain or lose in quality by being other non-original or time-tested (depending on how one wants to spin it.)
In its launch, Sons of Tucson is a mixed bag. The kids are too rigidly defined – a set of simple quirks that get the story going, but don’t feel like real individuals, much less a defined family. The slacker pseudo-dad is defined in nothing but loser terms… which is an attribute needed for the setup, but he could use some unlikely dream or ability to give him something to move toward, instead of just having something to run from. Because as it is, none of the characters are quite human, so it’s hard building up any sort of concern for the characters. When your humor rests on situations rather than one-lingers, you need some sense of human involvement to make it interesting.
But this feels less like a failure than it does like something not quite solidified yet. So there is hope that it will find its shape.
edited because apparently I don’t know how to spell “Tucson”.