'Allen Gregory': clever, but not funny

Allen Gregory embarks on the greatest challenge of Allen Gregory embarks on the greatest challenge of his life - attending elementary school with children his own age, in the series premiere episode of "Allen Gregory" airing Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011. Photo Credit: FOX

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REVIEW

ANIMATED COMEDY "Allen Gregory"

WHEN | WHERE Premieres Sunday at 8:30 p.m. on Fox/5

REASON TO WATCH Of course the logical bridge between "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy" would be the upscale tale of a 7-year-old sophisticate wearing "undergarments filled with my own unruly waste."

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WHAT IT'S ABOUT Allen Gregory (voice of series co-creator Jonah Hill, "Get Him to the Greek") is a pint-size prodigy and would-be Tony nominee who sips pinot grigio for lunch at elementary school. That's where he's been relegated by his rich gay dad (French Stewart) when his other maybe-not-so-gay trophy dad (Nat Faxon) is forced to seek work. "Everyone's gonna kiss his pretentious little ----," fears the kid's sardonic adopted Cambodian sister, Julie (Joy Osmanski). So she's thrilled when Allen Gregory proves less popular than she.

A kid depicted in his own Warhol painting is bound to exhibit a center-of-the-universe sense of take-charge-ness. Yet he's still a kid, sweetly vulnerable at heart, and desperately in love with his obese elderly principal (Renee Taylor).

MY SAY Oh, how I'd love this show's ideas to work. They're just so out-there, from the uber-articulate swelled-head lead to the gonzo gay dads to the vein-streaked fleshiness of Principal Gottlieb in Allen Gregory's sweaty fantasies. The visual design is crazy sharp, while swank-life dialogue name-checks the likes of Charlie Rose and "the sisters Deschanel."

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But what's the point, really? Who's the audience for this? Where are the laughs?

BOTTOM LINE So pleased with itself, it doesn't seem concerned about pleasing us.

GRADE C+

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