It's a secret pleasure - but Fox's War at Home, which debuted after the Simpsons this season, featuring lead actor Michael Rapaport and an atypical dysfunctional family with two sons and a teenage daughter, has been much better than I ever could have expected. Though we haven't had a chance to catch every single show, due to conflicts with NBC's The West Wing, in its final season, I have yet to see an episode that didn't keep me laughing all the way through. Irreverent, surprisingly insightful and absurd all at once, War At Home quickly made its way onto our TiVo's season pass list, and we've even caught ourselves watching the reruns - for the jokes are still funny.
While the show's two main characters, Rapaport and wife Vicky, played by Anita Barone, have a sordid past, and checkered present, the show tries to mean well - they want their kids to get good grades, stay out of trouble, and generally avoid being too ridiculous, whether for their own good or to avoid parental embarrassment. In early episodes, War At Home has discussed teen drinking, first relationships, the potential of having a gay son, and revisiting old flings with former partners. While it's not likely to be critically acclaimed or be confused with 60 Minutes or Law and Order, War At Home is a raw look at conversations likely going on in homes around the country, if parents are taking the time to talk to their kids at all.
It can be caught on Sundays at 8:30 p.m., immediately following the Simpsons. Set your DVRs.