However, that kind of character is best as a supporting character to a more straightforward main character (in the case of "Reaper", that was Bret Harrison's Sam), so I had my doubts as to how a character like that, played again by Labine, would work in the lead role of FOX's new sitcom, "Sons of Tucson".
After watching the first episode, I still have those doubts, though I'm willing to stick it out for a few more episodes to see how it works. Labine is once again playing a slacker-type character, with the home improvement store of "Reaper" replaced by a sporting goods store, who gets recruited by a trio of orphaned kids (pulled straight out of the "Malcolm in the Middle" kids acting way too old for their age playbook) to be their pretend dad.
I actually liked that it took the entire pilot episode for them to come to an agreement on how Labine's character will serve in that role more permanently -- the kids kept trying to ditch him after they were done using him -- and I liked how Ron kept proving himself worthwhile to them by basically being a complete liar and fraud.
Still, without a straight man, the jokes seemed to keep hitting the same note. Ron is a loser who'll scam anyone, including his own grandmother, for money, and these kids think they can handle themselves, but obviously they can't. There were definitely times I laughed at a specific joke, but overall, the episode just kind of washed over me.
As I said earlier, I'm definitely willing to keep giving this a shot (a show has to be pretty bad for me to bail after one episode), and hopefully the show will find some creative balance aside from the mediocre love interest they're trying to foist on Ron (who also happens to be one of the kids teachers). The show has more potential than "American Dad" did early on, and is already better than "The Cleveland Show".