The mannequin for FOX’s “Welcome to Flatch”—which premieres each on the community on March 17th, and on Hulu, the place seven episodes will drop that very same day—is fairly apparent. Flatch, Ohio feels simply over the hill from Pawnee, Indiana, the setting of NBC’s beloved “Parks and Recreation.” However, this mockumentary doesn’t middle the women and men attempting to make their smalltown group higher however these simply attempt to get from someday to the subsequent as residents of a spot with two eating places, “one with a menu.” The issue is that the tone for this sort of factor will be extremely troublesome to handle. Is “Welcome to Flatch” mocking individuals who reside in small cities or embracing their idiosyncrasies? After screening 5 episodes, I’m afraid that the reply feels too typically like the previous, and that this can be a present made by individuals who have by no means lived anyplace close to a heartland city like Flatch and possibly wouldn’t go there in case you paid them.
Each episode opens with this intro graphic: “Current research present that People lengthy for a less complicated life in small cities. To discover these communities, FOX despatched a documentary crew to spend time with the residents of Flatch, Ohio. Inhabitants 1,526.” Based mostly on the U.Ok. sitcom “This Nation,” “Welcome to Flatch” facilities cousins Kelly Mallet (Chelsea Holmes) and Lloyd “Shrub” Mallet (Sam Straley), who attempt to benefit from each boring day in Ohio, whether or not it’s tormenting the city’s bus driver or messing with the girl who runs the historic society, Nadine Garcia-Parney (Taylor Ortega). The prize possession of the society? An outhouse.
It’s that type of joke that retains surfacing in “Welcome to Flatch,” a present that creator Jenny Bicks and govt producer/pilot director Paul Feig would definitely say is completed with a spirit of loving mockery. And but the present is continually circling again to low-cost jokes about small cities just like the opening episode’s skillet-throwing contest or simple jabs at faith and even journalism by characters like Father Joe (Seann William Scott) and the editor of the city paper Cheryl Peterson (the good Aya Cash of “You are the Worst” and “The Boys”). It reminds one in all how nuanced the humor was on “Parks and Rec” each time that it isn’t right here. The issue is that it is a present of Andy Dwyers as a substitute of 1 with a various, diverse ensemble.
If there’s something promising about “Welcome to Flatch” it is that the present works a lot better when it veers away from the broad jokes in regards to the heartland of the nation and provides the folks some room to breathe. The character-driven stuff between Shrub and Kelly that comes out of the left subject and doesn’t really feel simple will be very humorous, largely as a result of Holmes and Straley are giving it their all. When Kelly and Shrub sing a track in regards to the time that Shrub really received to the touch a bra it has the type of lovable, naïve playfulness that would occur in small or huge cities. And one would presume that the writers of “Welcome to Flatch” can solely make so many jokes that sound like discarded Jeff Foxworthy routines earlier than permitting performers like Money and Scott to dig into one thing extra three-dimensional. I’m simply unsure anybody will nonetheless be on the town once they do.
5 episodes screened for review.