Review of "The War At Home" From The TV MegaSite
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Review by Suzanne 5/28/07

The War at Home - The Complete First Season

The War at Home Season One DVD cover

This FOX sitcom got really bad reviews when it first came out. Yet, it's still on the air, so someone must be watching it. I watched part of it back then and decided not to watch any more because I didn't find it funny.

I've now watched a few episodes on this disk set, and I have to say it's not as bad as I thought. I once thought it was somewhat like "Married with Children", but it's really not. That show was cartoonish with unlikable characters that you wouldn't want to know in real life. It was also very funny.  Unfortunately, this show is not all that funny, but it has more realistic characters.  I don't know...perhaps if I had children, I would find the show funnier.

It's about a family of five - husband, wife, two sons and a daughter.  The father is Jewish and a bit hapless. Like any typical sitcom, he's a bit henpecked.  The younger brother is kind of a brat who likes to make deals to get what he wants.  The older son is a little weird, so the parents fear he might be gay or something.  The older daughter is just a normal teenage girl but kind of a bitch.  Like any sitcom, the show revolves around how the family deals with various problems that crop up.  The father often steps outside of the situation and talks to us (or the camera), and occasionally so do the other characters. This is a device I've never liked, but it certainly works better on a comedy than it ever did on any drama or reality show.

The show has a couple of chuckles, and it is basically mildly entertaining to watch, but it's not a laugh riot. I wouldn't bother watching it unless there is nothing else on. It is not a "family friendly" show because of the issues it deals with.  One thing it does do is push the envelope. It handles stories that other shows don't, like smoking pot or masturbation.  In one episode, the daughter is trying to annoy her parents by dating a black guy.  The parents are honest about not wanting her to do that.  However, they know what she is up to, so they welcome the guy.  This backfires and she starts dating him for real. In a later episode, they have to meet up with the guy's parents, and that part is kind of funny and not what you might expect.  But, again, it should be a lot funnier.

The disk set has all of the first season episodes, plus two special features.  One is called "Living Room Confessions" where the actors and producers talk about the show (this is somewhat amusing as they joke around a lot). Another is the gag reel.  That's where they show funny outtakes from the show.  Any fan of this show needs to have this disk set. The rest of us...well, I wouldn't bother too much.

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Updated 5/28/07 


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