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Family Tools (ABC) - Series Premiere: Synopsis and Review

Updated on May 2, 2013

On Wednesday the 1st of May, ABC’s newest comedy series ‘Family Tools’ premiered. The show centers around Jack Shea (Kyle Bornheimer, ‘Worst Week’) who takes over his father’s hardware-handyman business after his dad, Tony (J.K. Simmons, ‘Law and Order’), suffered a heart attack. ‘Family Tools’ is based on the British sitcom ‘White Van Man’, created by (Adrian Poynton), who is also the co-creator of ‘Family Tools’.

The episode begins with Tony lying on the floor having a heart attack, which seems to happen a lot, while his sister Terry (Leah Remini, ‘King of Queens’) refuses to let the EMTs in until her brother promises he will stop working and let his son take over. Tony’s son, Jack, has just been kicked out of seminary school, just like he’s been kicked out of a lot of schools. This time, all he did was suggesting they make the bible ‘a little less long and preachy’. When he receives a text from his dad saying ‘I need you’ he sees it as the perfect opportunity to finally make his dad proud. Too bad it was his aunt who sent him the text.

Nonetheless, Jack is willing to take over his father’s business, even though his dad would rather he did not. However, Jack has to work with Darren Bichette (Edi Gathegi, ‘House’), an irresponsible guy who has no faith in Jack. Furthermore, Darren seems to think that, now Tony is no longer running the business, he no longer has a boss. Unfortunately for Jack, his first job isn’t going very well, so Darren seems to be right about him.

Seeing as how Darren is annoying him a lot and isn’t taking things seriously, Jack wants to fire him. However, his father won’t allow it, so Jack takes his aunt Terry’s advice to ‘drive him away’. When Darren’s sister starts talking to Jack in a flirty manner, Jack notices Darren doesn’t like it very much. So, Jack starts to flirt with her on the phone while Darren is working.

In the meantime, Tony refuses to let go of the business so he keeps popping up to check up on Jack, even though Terry does everything in her power to keep him at home and resting. Tony is able to sneak out however, and catches Jack and Darren at the perfect time: Jack has just accidentally shot himself in the foot with a nailgun, and Darren is throwing up because of it. Once again, Tony has a heart attack, and he is rushed off to the hospital along with Jack.

In the ambulance Terry forces Jack and Tony to talk about why they don’t get along. She asks Jack why he doesn’t seem to like the job, and Jack says he doesn’t like going home to live in a basement while helping his dad who doesn’t even seem to like him, but seems to love Darren. All Tony can say is that it’s different because Jack is his son.

When they’re back home, it seems like nothing has changed. Jack decides to give up on making his dad like him. But when he gets back from finishing his first job, his dad and Darren are in the basement fixing the place up for him.

During the first five to seven minutes I thought this wasn’t going to be a show I would love. I honestly thought it would be just another mediocre comedy, with a chuckle here and there and that is it. I came around quickly though. Granted, I still wasn’t laughing very hard, but I enjoyed watching the show. I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is that made me like this show, but there are a few things that may have done the trick. For one, I like the story. It’s relatable, and it leaves room for funny situations. Furthermore, the way Edi Gathegi portrays Darren is hilarious. All in all, the show wasn’t amazing, but it has the potential to become something quite funny.

Family Tools airs Wednesdays at 8:30/7:30c on ABC

What did you think about 'Family Tools'?

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    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

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      Kenneth Avery, Hamilton, Alabama