‘Sons of Tucson’ good fit for Fox in Sunday slot

Posted March 11, 2010, at 5:10 p.m.

There are two basic kinds of situation comedies: ensemble or star-based.

Most of the latter category are built around standup comics, with a seasoned cast of actual actors around them.

Fox’s latest sitcom, “Sons of Tucson,” debuting at 9:30 p.m. Sunday, is different, as it’s focused on actor Tyler Labine.

For the past several years, Labine has been refining his slacker character. He was the best thing in the CW’s short-lived “Reaper” and was the comedic counterpoint in the sci-fi drama “Invasion.”

This time, Labine plays Ron Snuffkin, a lovable loser who is working at a sporting goods store and living in his car. He’s one step ahead of a loan shark’s enforcer, and is looking for a quick way to make a buck.

Enter the Gunderson brothers, Brandon (Matthew Levy), Gary (Frank Dolce) and Robby (Benjamin Stockham). Their dad is in jail for bank fraud, and, after moving cross country, these junior con men need a fill-in dad to get them enrolled in school and to deal with other problems that require an adult’s presence. Gary, the smart one, has scouted Ron and decided that he is right for the job. Ron is broke enough to work cheap.

And so a scheming little family is born.

“Sons of Tucson” is the latest in Fox’s long line of sitcoms featuring dysfunctional families, stretching back to “Married … with Children.” It’s also a great fit with the animated families of Fox’s Sunday night lineup.

Since it’s being unveiled this late in the season, “Sons of Tucson” would have to be considered a long shot to be renewed. So enjoy the slapstick fun while it lasts.

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