Although the TBS sitcom Sullivan & Son clearly did well enough to earn itself a second season of 10 more episodes, I feel that the show has largely been unseen by the masses, so it might be worth giving it a whirl if you haven’t seen it already. Fortunately, now is a great time to jump on, as the series premiere airs tonight (Thursday, June 13) at 10PM. Starring comedian Steve Byrne (no relation) as Steve Sullivan, a former corporate attorney who ends up buying the family bar, the series is well-stocked with wacky, sometimes offensive characters in a kind of setting that, as a viewer, I like returning to.
The most wacky and offensive character remains Steve’s mother, played by Jodi Long. If Nancy Walker’s Ida Morgenstern perpetuated Jewish-mother stereotypes in the 70’s on Rhoda, this would be her 40-years-later, Korean counterpart. Considering Ida is one of my favorite sitcom performances of all time, that should be taken as a huge compliment. She is beyond funny and I wonder how anyone on the show can keep a straight face. TV veterans like Dan Lauria, Brian Doyle-Murray, and Christine Ebersole are often on hand with funny lines and observations, mixed in with a younger cast of young comedic talents that are just as much fun to watch.
The season premiere is called “The Pilot, One More Time,” and in it, Steve’s brother-in-law, played by The Hangover’s Ken Jeong, is tricked into coming to to the bar. He’s a bit of a stick in the mud, always working, and his wife, Susan, thinks that being in the bar will lighten it up. Of course, the ploy works too well, and the next thing you know, he wants to be in the bar all the time as well, neglecting his duties as a doctor.
Meanwhile, Melanie tries to school Ahmed, Owen, Roy, and Hank on sports matters they might not be aware of.
Admittedly, Sullivan & Son isn’t the most original sitcom in the world. We’ve seen shows set in a bar; we’ve seen shows with culture clashes. But the show makes me smile. That’s pretty much all I can ask for.
Sullivan & Son airs at 10PM (ET/PT) tonight on TBS.