'Allen Gregory': All style, no substance

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allen-gregory-fox.jpgHe's seven, he drinks pinot and he knows too much. He's " Allen Gregory." But is he worth watching?

The new Fox animated series centers on a precocious and pretentious tot named Allen Gregory DeLongpre voiced by the show's producer, Jonah Hill. He lives in a fancy Manhattan (or a reasonable facsimile) penthouse with his father Richard (voiced by French Stewart), Richard's life partner/boy toy Jeremy ( Nat Faxon) and his adopted Cambodian sister Julie ( Joy Osmanski).

In the pilot, due to yet unexplained financial difficulties, Jeremy needs to find a job, meaning his homeschooling of Allen Gregory ends. As a result, Allen must now attend public school. This proves difficult for the ascot-wearing tyke who is much better suited for a high-end boarding school.

It is at elementary school that Allen Gregory encounters the typical slate of characters: the bully, the sidekick and the difficult authority figures. His continued disdain for his teachers and principal generates a storyline of unrequited love and, theoretically, laughs.

The show offers a style of animation that's clean and different from Fox's typical animated blob design. It is this that will immediately grab viewers' attention. But for all its stylistic appeal, one sizable problem remains with "Allen Gregory" -- it's not funny.

The show would be a lot more interesting if it followed the Julie and her adjustment to life in America and used Allan Gregory her annoying foil. The boy is hardly a sympathetic character nor is he particularly amusing. He's more of a pest along the lines of Charles Emerson Winchester III from " M*A*S*H"  - a guy who knows too much for his own good and is grating in large doses.

As " The Simpsons" and " Family Guy" show their age, Fox is no doubt desperate to find a new show to anchor their Sunday night line up. Unfortunately for them "Allen Gregory" isn't that show.

Looks like they'll need to go back to the drawing board.

"Allen Gregory" debuts on FOX at 8:30 p.m. ET on Oct. 30.
Photo/Video credit: Fox