Tooncrap #7 - Allen Gregory
Written by: Raymond Gallant
I don't want to do this one.
Right off the top, this was an induction I straight up avoided doing
simply on the grounds of I know what I'm getting into. And for a person
who sat through the idiocy of Bubsy, had a strong willed gag reflex for
Dunce Bucket, and flat out SURVIVED Madballs: Gross Jokes, I can say
without hyperobole that Allen Gregory is just something I do not want to
watch. I've seen bits and pieces, and other reviews of the show, so
right off the bat, I know I'm going to be quite pissed following this
review. But since you fine folks enjoy reading my merry misadventures
into the realm of animated inanity, I'll do it for you.
So, what is Allen Gregory, and why does it give me the highest level of
Douche Chills? Well, following the cancellation of King of the Hill, Fox
was looking to shuffle around their animation block with more shows.
Among these would be Bob's Burgers, a show I hated initially, but
eventually found to be a surprisingly brilliant cartoon. There was also
an animated adaptation of Napoleon Dynamite, which didn't catch on as
the classic film did. Oh, and Sit Down, Shut Up, which I have reviewed
in the past.
And then there's Allen Gregory. The brainchild of actor Jonah Hill,
Andrew Mogel, and Jarrad Paul. The show made its debut on October 30th,
2011, and was cancelled mere weeks later due to a wave negative reviews,
and low ratings. So, clearly, this is a Tooncrap induction years in the
So, I think I'm ready for the drudgery that is Allen Gregory. We'll look
at the pilot episode, and get out hopefully alive. Let's review this
We open the first episode at a party hosted by a man named Richard De
Longpre. He introduces his life partner, Jeremy, who tries to kindly say
hi, only for Richard to snap at him, calling him an unemployed
housewife. This is then changed as Richard starts kissing Jeremy,
humiliating him intentionally. he also makes mention that he recently
adopted a Cambodian girl named Julie, who will be mostly ignored and
scrutinized by Richard throughout the course of the series.
And we're one minute in, and I'm already mentally done. I mean, Jesus H.
Macy. I've seen some outright horrible characters in my travels, but one
minute in to this cartoon, Richard De Longpre may have just taken Dr.
Crumb's spot as the almighty douche. You could make the argument that
Richard's mindset comes from a pampered, rich gay man who has never been
told he's wrong, but even if you want to use that excuse, it hardly
makes the character worth watching. Especially when you know that this
is going to be a character who hardly ever will get comeuppance for his
actions. And trust me, we're far from talking about Richard's outright
Also, good god, what the hell is wrong with Julie's design?
It's a few inches away from being on par with "The Head".
So, Richard plays up how he was so charitable to bring Julie to America,
and she should be grateful for his big heart. Julie, like the audience,
sees right through Richard's crap. But hey, at least it's just Richard
who's clearly the show's jerk. It's not like there's a smaller, more
prickish version of Richard in this show? Oh wait, we haven't even met
the title character yet!
In fact it is time to meet the main character, Allen Gregory De Longprie,
voiced by Jonah Hill. Allen is a child prodigy, who has been successful
in damn near everything. Oh goody, so we have a Gary Stu of sorts. But
maybe he's far more humble than...
No, wait. He's telling Julie to get back in the crowd, and calling her
the worst person ever. When will I learn not to have optimism?
He also talks about how he won the Tony award, and how he almost passed
it up, but since it would deprive the people of seeing him succeed, he
went for it. Whoopee. Oh, and we learn that the whole Tony nod was a
lie, so that makes things better.
We finally get to the meat of the premise of the series. Since Richard
is, let's be honest, forcing Jeremy to get a job, Allen can't be home
schooled, so he has to go to elementary school. Allen reacts, as
expected, by throwing a tantrum, and blaming Jeremy for it.
Later that night, we still get no answer as to why Jeremy has to get a
job. He asks Richard if it's money problems, but Richard disregards
Jeremy's opinion. This is followed by Allen blaming Jeremy for getting a
job, which Richard also blames him for. And I look at the timer on this
video, and realize I'm at the five minute mark with over 15 minutes to
go, and I'm almost ready to tap out.
And this is the part where we're suddenly supposed to feel bad for
Allen, as he worries that maybe the kids at school won't like him. I
can't imagine why they wouldn't, I mean, he has such an open and
So, after five minutes of this little jackass treating people like
garbage, and being a smug little shit, the writers of this show actually
wants us to sympathize with him? Congrats show, you've given me the
first and only laugh I've had so far.
The next day arrives, and Julie isn't particularly happy about Allen
going to elementary school, since it clearly means his ass will be
kissed. But Allen already makes a grand entrance, getting pissed at his
teacher for not addressing him as Allen Gregory, and by being difficult.
His pretentious behavior continues at lunch, as he berates another kid
named Patrick over lunch scheduling. Allen's dickery does get the better
of him when his attempts to kiss up to class president Joel Zadak get
him laughed at. Turns out that hey, the smart ass is the biggest loser
Allen's enjoyment of a little alcohol gets him sent to the principal's
office, where he instantly falls in love with the principal, the elderly
and overweight Mrs. Gottlieb, voiced by Roseanne Barr. And hoo boy, if
you thought the jokes so far have been winners, we get a "hilarious"
montage of Allen and Mrs. Gottlieb on the beach, on a roller coaster,
and I wish to god I was kidding, them having sex. Because the thought of
an elderly woman having sex with a minor is a laugh a minute. More
unfunny love jokes, and we hit the comedy climax of the episode with
Allen crapping his pants and crying as he leaves the school.
And again, I ask, are we supposed to feel bad for Allen? Are we, the
viewer, supposed to look at this and feel sympathy because his brash
behavior is being thrown in his face? It's not funny. Not even in a
"little jerk gets what he deserves" way at least. It's just annoying,
and emitting waves of powerful douche chills. You can make a jerk
character sympathetic, but there has to be this feeling that he has some
sort of heart underneath his cold exterior. In Allen Gregory's case,
there is no heart. Or if there is, it's been so clogged with jackassery
that it's hard to feel sorry for anything that befalls him, or want to
cheer him on when he succeeds. He's a smug, arrogant little worm that is
beyond sympathy. And I don't think the next 10 minutes I have to drudge
through in this episode will change any of that.
You know what we haven't had in a while? More of Richard being
manipulative, Julie being intentionally ignored by Richard, and Jeremy,
while just as sympathetic as Julie, being Richard's bitch. And I haven't
even mentioned how these two got together yet, have I? Well, we'll get
into that shortly, don't you worry none. I'm sure it'll make you just
love Richard so much more.
Allen runs into his room crying. And when Jeremy shows concern, he gets
yelled at, so all that sympathy the viewer is supposed to feel is
whoosh! Out the window! As Jeremy and Richard go to the school to settle
the situation with Allen and Mrs. Gottlieb, Julie tells Allen to go back
to the school, mainly because this means she's not the biggest loser in
school. At the school, we get more of Jeremy being berated, as the
superintendent tries to force Mrs. Gottlieb to be more respectful of
Allen, since, you know, he's rich.
And since this show is not filled with enough stereotypes and bad
characters, here's our magic black man by the name of Carl Trent D'Avis,
aka Cole Train for some reason. Allen asks him for advice on fitting in
at school, but since he's as much of a smug dickhole as the rest of
these stars, he gives him some nonsensical advice. Jeremy asks to talk
to Allen, and we learn of his past. And I hope to god you're sitting
down for this.
5 years ago, Jeremy was a straight man with a wife, two kids, and was
happy. But when he had a meeting with Richard, and despite a supposed
platonic relationship, Richard wouldn't take no for an answer, and began
to stalk him until Jeremy finally gave in and became Richard's trophy
So, not only did Jeremy used to be happy, but he gave in, and chose to
spend the rest of his days being the bitch to not only a cold-hearted
leech who only loves him for his body and treats his opinion like
absolute garbage, but also the cruel hell spawn of that leech?
Dammit, nobody is sympathetic in this! Nobody! I get that Richard is an
entitled ass, but for the love of god, get a restraining order. If it
means protecting the family life you claimed you love to live in eternal
servitude to someone who doesn't love you (and it's not love. It's lust
from a person who doesn't understand, nor deserves love), then it's
worth it. And if it's a case of Jeremy having no self esteem and tapping
out to Richard's advances, then the sympathy is lost on him. He didn't
fight this, so he deserves what he gets. He gambled away happiness to be
the sex toy of a man who by all intents and purposes is setting the gay
rights movement back a few centuries.
It's stupid! This show is stupid! There is no sympathy. No likable
characters. No one to latch on to because they're all horrible. You feel
bad for Julie, but even she's not the nicest character. It's literally
20 minutes of showing the worst in humanity. Even Family Guy in their
depths of cruelty and mean-spritedness in recent years does at times
have heartwarming moments, and characters that while cold and cruel do
have their likable moments. This doesn't! It's like Jonah Hill and the
other two dinks he's writing this with wanted to make a show devoid of
any compassion whatsoever. where they present the highest levels of
pretentiousness and hope it garners a laugh. It doesn't. It just
I have four minutes left of the episode, let's plow the everlovin' hell
out of this.
So Allen breaks into Patrick's room to tell him that he's going back to
the school, because he doesn't want to be formal. He plows into the
school and denies his pants crapping, as the superintendent takes the
blame. And the episode ends with Allen trying once again to literally
kiss up on the principal. And it's about as funny as the first time.
And that's Allen Gregory. That was a chore to sit through. Seriously,
I've never come out of any review I've done with this much outright
disgust over what I've just watched. The characters were horrible
people. Pretty much all of them were beyond the point of sympathy, even
Jeremy, who loses that sympathy when you realize his doormat mentality
brought this all on himself. Allen is a horrible little troll, Richard
is a manipulative monster, and Julie doesn't get enough screen time in
the episode for you to even care. It's a non-stop cavalcade of outright
dickery that doesn't make you laugh, doesn't make you feel god, and sure
as hell doesn't make you want to come back for more.
I don't have an issue with mean spirited humor. But the writing has to
be well done, and for it to really work, you have to find a reason to
like these characters, or even relate to why their being mean spirited.
Unless you're some rich pampered snot who thinks their better than
everyone, it's hard to find a relatable aspect to this style of mean
On the animation side, it's an ugly cartoon. It's basic flash animation,
which means it doesn't even have that much of a distinctive style to it.
It looks like a hundred other bad flash cartoons on television as it is.
Say what you will for Bob's Burgers and it's animation, but at least it
has a distinctive style. The style of Allen Gregory is just bland with
some of the worst character designs of all time.
So, welcome Allen Gregory, your acerbic attempts at wit, and awful
character has earned you a spot in the special seat in the Tooncrap hall
of shame. May you forever rot.