When someone says “Lil Jon pool party,” somehow an eleven-year-old boy clinging to a high dive for dear life isn’t what comes to mind. It’s just one of the reasons why this second episode of About a Boy is a little… off.
Let’s bitch it out…
Let me preface this review by stating that overall I’m enjoying this series so far. Both episodes so far have moved at a brisk pace with light, funny moments. And again in this episode, David Walton knocks it out of the park. He is able to deliver lines like “We moved our clothes – off our bodies!” with enough boyish charm to make me not hate Will.
But there are still kinks to be worked out. The pool party premise seems like a good idea in theory, but in execution doesn’t make any sense. First of all, how does Will manage to get Marcus (Benjamin Stockham) into the party in the first place? Did no one on the writing staff think that security might look into a kid wandering around the party alone? Even setting aside those questions, the party scenes are awkward.
The opening shots of the party show scantily clad women and a tiger hanging around, but the following scenes have the energy of a Sunday brunch. And Lil Jon himself finally makes an appearance, but only to deliver a painfully acted eye roll and deliver a sound bite about diabetes research. It’s as if the writers were excited about writing an epic Lil Jon party, but then realized they have to write about a kid attending an epic Lil Jon party. They couldn’t figure out how to find that balance between what they wanted to write and what would actually make sense to write.
Marcus as a character seems less consistent in this episode, too. There are moments when his naïveté works and is actually funny. It results in the line of the night, when he says to Will at the party “Will! I have shocking news! The mermaid is smoking a cigarette. And she uses the f-word a lot!” But sometimes it goes too far – suddenly Marcus isn’t able to lie to his mother, even though he seemed plenty able to hide the truth from her in the pilot when it means getting ribs from Will. I worry that this means that Marcus’s level of innocence will change week-to-week depending on the needs of the plot.
And unfortunately, Fiona (Minnie Driver) is just as frustrating as she was last week. I get that she’s supposed to be oblivious and too overprotective, but for her to ask Will for his help and then start rearranging his house is too ridiculous. I hope for Minnie Driver’s sake her character gets pulled reined in over the next few weeks.
- Last week it was One Direction, this week it’s Jason Mraz. Anyone care to wager that next week Fiona and Marcus will be singing “These Words” by Natasha Beddingfield? What other faux-inspirational pop songs do you think they will they acoustically jam to next?
- Who else would like to see a spinoff with just Al Madrigal’s Andy on his life as a sad dad? His wistfulness about the last movie he saw being The Dutchess is pure comedy gold.
Now it’s your turn! What were you hoping for when you heard “Lil Jon pool party?” Are you over Fiona, too? And what colors have you shaded on your color wheel? Sound off in the comments below!
About a Boy airs Tuesdays at 9 EST on NBC.