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'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. Credit: FOX


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."

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 (Renée Taylor).

MY SAY Oh, how I'd love this show's ideas to work. They're just so out-there, from the über-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."

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.


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