Into the newly reignited drama over the U.S.-Mexico border comes the animated series "Bordertown," which Fox clearly hopes is seen as a stinging satire of inordinate timeliness.
Unfortunately, as created by "Family Guy's" Mark Hentemann, it is just the latest model from executive producer
Moronic fathers (and physically and/or mentally absent mothers) are, of course, a keystone of TV in general and TV animation in particular. From "The Flintstones," a modern stone-age version of "The Honeymooners," to "The Simpsons," "classic" animated series invariably revolve around the foibles of dimwitted, often angry and bigoted but essentially good-hearted(!) men used, by their creators, as stand-ins for "real Americans."
That angry bigots are rarely good-hearted does not seem to occur, nor does the notion that all Americans are "real" and more than half are female, though every Dumb Dad is invariably surrounded by a family/posse/foil there to represent the "less real" among us.
The Dumb Dad of "Bordertown" is such a real American his name is Bud. Voiced by
"How can I get a job when there's all this talk of a border wall?" J.C. says in the pilot. "Of course," Ernesto replies. "You must wait until all the problems of the world are solved."
The rest of the two families are equally constructed for maximum viewer familiarity. Bud has a more open-minded, and mostly absent, wife (
Bud's fury over their engagement fuels the pilot, while the second episode deals more directly with current events: The citizens of Mexifornia vote to construct an enormous wall (what a surprise!), with all sorts of predictable and only sporadically hilarious results. For reasons of their own, the writers chose to undermine the episode with a long-running alien-abduction rape joke.
More about exposing absurdity than changing minds, satire is often as angry and offensive as its subject (a joke about