Maybe the Bundys weren’t such bad parents after all. “Married … With Children,” boycotted by some advertisers when it debuted in 1987, looks like “Leave It to Beaver” compared with two current sitcoms, TBS’ “The Detour,” which premieres Monday, and the second season of “Catastrophe,” now streaming on Amazon.
The heavily promoted “Detour” is part of TBS’ package deal with the husband-and-wife team of red-hot Samantha Bee and Jason Jones. Jones stars here as a befuddled father who, like Clark Griswold in “Vacation,” believes nothing brings a family together quite like a road trip.
Too bad his 11-year-old twins attended the same finishing school as that creep from “The Omen.” Before the cruiser can even get through a full tank of gas, the li’l demons have faked a kidnapping, bonded with matinee-shift strippers and used language toward their folks that they must have picked up from a restroom wall, all without the slightest scolding.
Spoiled brats — but what else can you expect from kids raised by a couple who think nothing of getting intoxicated in the middle of the day, signing off on an excursion to a racially insensitive restaurant and engaging in sexual hijinks in a hot tub (just a splash away from their offspring).
An attempt to deliver the birds-and-the-bees speech veers into a graphic argument about gratification. Somehow the action manages to incorporate Judge Reinhold and not a representative from child services.
At least the couple in “Catastrophe” are trying. Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan, who created and star in this sharply written two-hander, are still card-carrying members of TV’s Self-Indulgence Club, but now they are raising two young kids, an assignment forcing them to look up from their navels from time to time and face outside responsibilities.
“Of course I love them more than you,” Horgan says during one of their frequent spats. “I’m not a sociopath.”
Maybe, maybe not.
What keeps us rooting for the pair — and the show — is their reluctant, but undeniable, devotion to each other, even if their favorite (only?) pastime is ridiculing everyone and everything around them.
That’s love, I guess, even if they — and the grown-ups in “The Detour” — have a hard time making room in their hearts for the kiddies.