The Goode Family Talkback

Mike Judge’s new series The Goode Family made its debut on ABC tonight. It’s gotten mixed reviews from the media — here’s what the L.A. Times and the NY Times had to say. What did you think?

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  • Cyber Fox

    Personally, I gave up on Mike Judge ever since i witnessed the cataclysmic trainwreck that was “Idiocracy”

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com FP

    Given that a pilot, by its nature, is choked with exposition, I thought it was great. It was almost sort of like watching a bizarro KOTH. It felt familiar even though it’s a brand-new show. I noticed the director was Wes Archer. I haven’t checked the other credits to see how much of the KOTH staff migrated to the GOODES.

    As far as animation goes, it’s mostly just another perfunctory-movement script-based show – but the drag race was cool.

    Don’t know if it will succeed, but I liked it.

  • http://www.zoepiel.com zoe

    I was pretty pleased with the character designs. I found them more organic and fun than those of King of the Hill (a show of which I am a rabid fan). For instance – the black man at the DMV actually looked like a black man! And the black neighbor also looked black, but completely differently from the DMV employee! Who would have thought this was possible in cartoons now?

    The dog reminded me of the dog from Rugrats. Actually, now that I think about it, the whole aesthetic was reminiscent of Klasky-Csupo…

    Other than that, I thought it felt very “piloty”. I’m looking forward to seeing the next episode, because I think it’ll give a better idea of the tone of the writing. Either way, I don’t think this show is long for this world. Given how much King of the Hill tore into liberals, it feels pretty superfluous.

  • http://mrdarbyshire.com Michael

    Looks like Mike Judge is exhausted after falling downhill with his last show. Maybe it’s time to take a break.

  • http://bakertoons.blogspot.com/ Charles Brubaker

    I didn’t laugh out loud (except at couple of jokes) but it kept me interested. I might check out the next episode.

    And it has Brian Doyle-Murray. What more do you want?

  • Kate

    I thought it was hilarious. The jokes were a little safe and the ending a bit too conventional, but it is the pilot. Hopefully they’ll push boundaries a little more and bring in some new ideas. I’m a big fan of ‘King of the Hill’ and the original ideas that came out of there instead of a rehash of the same opinions for street cred. The scenes with the dog was hysterical, the organic food store was so close to reality it was a little creepy, and I’m sure I’ve heard some of the dialogue in real life before. Here’s hoping it has a long and excellent run. I’d like to see more, especially if more networks get into primetime animation.

  • Adam

    Wow, someone hated Idiocracy? That was a solid, funny film. Plus it had the electrolytes plants crave.
    I’m giving the Goodes a few more weeks, but I already like the tone a lot better than any of Seth McFarlane’s DT-induced televised excrement.

  • Jorge Garrido

    I love Mike Judge, but the characters aren`t likeable enough… except for the daughter, who is the only one you feel sympathy for because she`s the most normal. King Of The Hill was the opposite of this, because we were went to identify with Hank because he was the voice of reason.

    Also, these environmentalist characters are a stereotype from the 90s. But Mike Judge should have made this show about was upper-middle class urban white liberals, the kind featured on stuffwhitepeoplelike.com. That way he could have made fun of something more than just environmentalism and liberalism.

    I`ll still watch it, though.

  • Trevor

    It’s hard to say becaues it’s a pilot, but I’d like to see these characters developed a lot more. They all seem way too similar.

  • http://www.germanshible.com German S.

    The series needs some time to mature but I liked it.

  • Brad Constantine

    you know you can hire good character designers, right?

  • Carlos

    It seemed really busy… a little too much going on at once for a first episode. I think if each episode was a bit more focused and the pacing was a little more controlled, the potential in this show could really blossom.

    The writing was good, and the jokes were generally funny. And I like that the animation is a little more fun than KotH. But was I the only one that kind of wished the dad was Hank Hill instead? His reactions to the characters would have been pretty hilarious…

    I’ll tune in next week for sure, I’m hoping this show does well, it has a lot of potential.

  • Andy

    I didn’t see it. I read a brief about it in TV Guide. My guess is it’s “All in the Family” 40 years later and it makes fun of “liberals” and is considered a cartoon. Sounded like an utter POS.

    Am I right?

    Did anyone laugh?

  • Andy

    Mike Judge should have made this show about was upper-middle class urban white liberals, the kind featured on stuffwhitepeoplelike.com.

    Yeah. That’s what he should have done. You hit the comedy nail on the head!

    The world ending in 2012 doesn’t sound like such a bad thing anymore.

  • DanO

    You can’t make fun of liberal ideology. Liberals are too sensitive.

  • http://www.zoologycomic.com Nate Birch

    “I didn’t see it. I read a brief about it in TV Guide. My guess is it’s “All in the Family” 40 years later and it makes fun of “liberals” and is considered a cartoon. Sounded like an utter POS.

    Am I right?”

    No. Here’s a crazy idea, watch a show before you render an opinion. Especially if you’re going to call it a POS.

    Anyways, I’ve liked everything Judge has ever done and I found this fairly funny too. It was definitely a lot more biting than King of the Hill has been in years.

    That said I’m not sure how long it will last. The show is basically taking the various idiots and dorky liberal charicatures that Hank Hill faces off against in King of the Hill and making them the star…except without the Hank Hill character. It feels like half the show is missing.

    Granted, Judge got away with a show starring unlikeable characters before (Beavis and Butthead), but this show isn’t anywhere near Beavis and Butthead funny so far.

    I’ll stick with it for now though.

  • Trevor

    “Granted, Judge got away with a show starring unlikeable characters ”

    I think that’s all in his style of humor. If you can’t watch King of the Hill because you can’t stand Peggy, you’re watching it wrong.

  • Racecar Backwards

    Judge couldn’t ridicule “upper middle class white liberals” because they are the suits who greenlit this show. Rarely do we see executives depicted as the objects of ridicule (or violence) in American media.

  • The Axe

    The Dad looked and sounded like he was fourteen. The only funny character so far is the starved dog.
    This episode was very milquetoast/nothing to write home about.

  • http://invaderpetblog.blogspot.com Brandon

    Mike Judge very clearly stole the name “The Goode Family” from an episode of Nickelodeon’s The Angry Beavers.

  • joecab

    Yeah every new show has a lot of ground to cover in the first episodes so that you know what you’re dealing with, so I’ll stick with it.

    I will say these people are annoying as crap, but they’re balancing out with enough human stuff to make it work, and the pilot had the first hint of that.

  • J Lee

    Well, the characters have to have/develop some sort of likability, or you fall into the problem Dabney Coleman had with “Buffalo Bill” back in the early 1980s, to where the viewers can’t identify with the star(s) of the show. That might work as a one-shot or even as a pushing-the-edges movie, but as a continuing series, “The Goode Family” will have to find something in that family that makes the viewers want to tune back in each week, the same way Judge did with Hank Hill (or, given the more obvious political nature of this show, the way Norman Lear and Carroll O’Connor were able to put a certain amount of likability into Archie Bunker in “All In the Family”, despite his world views).

  • Isaac

    It’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it.

    If it’s funny, people will watch. If it’s not, they won’t.

  • http://ryanmcculloch.com Ryan McCulloch

    I enjoyed it and think it has a lot of potential, there’s a lot of room to evolve, but Mike Judge is a great writer and I think given the time the show could be great.

  • Andy

    “You can’t make fun of liberal ideology. Liberals are too sensitive.”

    “The Simpsons” has been making fun of “liberals” for 20 years. Watch any episode that centers around Lisa for a start.

    That said, I’ve always liked Mike Judge’s work going back to the “Sick and Twisted” festival days. I can’t say I laugh out loud to KOTH like I did with B&B, but it’s an enjoyable show. This show, meh. Forgive me for pre-judging (see what I did there?) but I anticipate this show about as much as I do “The Cleveland Show.” You can only go to the same well so many times.

  • Marmite Cenovis

    The “Buffalo Bill” problem was as J Lee described it. Viewers who happened to be jerk bosses just loved that Dabney Coleman character. The teeming masses of humans who suffered under such superiors in the workplace loathed the program and their low viewing numbers killed that show. Must have likability on some level or you are most dead as an entertainer.

  • MattSullivan

    I love Mike Judge, but I don’t love this. How can the make a family of such dislikable characters and expect it to last? Then again, I said the same thing about King of the Hill some ten years ago.

    Ah who cares.

  • Tom

    Some of the comments here sound like troll comments. I know it’s hard to tell which are legitimate and which are not sometimes.

    Mike Judge is always worth watching, whether he’s working in animation or working on a live action project. I missed the Goode Family, but I will definitely fix that little screw up. KOTH has consistently been one of the best written shows on television, and Office Space and Idiocracy are two of the most subversive, memorable and quotable comedies of recent memory. Also worth noting is Mike Judge’s ability to mock every side of an issue. Yeah, I’d definitely check out whatever project he had on offer.

  • Brannigan’s Law

    It’s sad because Office Space struck so many chords and everything else he does just seems uninteresting in comparison. He’s making these characters that you don’t care about because they are a joke themselves. It was the opposite with Office Space, and that’s why it worked so well. Goode would have made a nice short, but I’m in the minority because I feel the same way about KotH. I still don’t know how it lasted as long as it did, but I’m sure that fan base will carry over.

  • http://tonystoons.blogspot.com Tony Claar

    The visual style looks just as unappealing and bland as King of the Hill and just like all his other artistically challenged shows. I don’t care how well written any of them may be; they are visually unwatchable. Sad.

  • http://robcatview.blogspot.com robcat2075

    “King of the Hill” was funny because the characters were people who populate Texas. It was the truest picture of Texas ever presented on television.

    “The Goode Family”‘ doesn’t resonate like that. These aren’t people I’ve met, I know them only from jokes and descriptions in the media.

    I saw Judge’s “Idiocracy”. It had the funniest PowerPoint slide in the history of cinema.

  • DanO

    “The Simpsons” has been making fun of “liberals” for 20 years. Watch any episode that centers around Lisa for a start.

    Not really.
    For every softball jibe about Lisa, you get Homer walking into the scene as a punctuation mark on how Lisa is only naive as compared to everyone else being stupid.

    The only example of lampooning the left that compares with that of the right is many of the jokes that were found in Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s “Team America”. In that case, Sean Penn sent an angry letter to them and ended it with an expletive insult and Genean Garafolo said she cried when she saw it.

  • http://www.arielvillaverde.com Aerial Flyer

    Can someone PLEASE give me a prime time cartoon withOUT a stereotypical american family in it??? (*Or the latest fads, ie. the environment, being “good”e, copying design styles from other shows….ect, ect)

    I know it’s the same writer/creator.. but come on, be inovating. Are there no “original/unique” ideas out there for major studios to take risks on?!

  • Jason

    As someone who lives in Austin, I meet people who are just like the Goode family in the same way I meet people who are just like the Hills.

    Both shows represent people you might meet in Texas.

  • http://rwentworth.blogspot.com Richard Wentworth

    If there was a dichotomy being explored in King of the Hill, it seems to me it was more “Old-Fashioned” versus “New-Fangled”, or maybe even “Everyman” versus “MegaloMart”… Trying to frame that show in terms of a political lampoon really misses the point, in my opinion.

    As a person who falls all over the spectrum of Liberal/Conservative thinking depending on the issue (see: Free Thinker), I never felt that folks of any political or cultural stripe were skewered any more or less than the other denizens of the KOTH world.

    I haven’t seen this show yet, but based on Judge’s track record, I’m going to give it a shot. KOTH grew on me, maybe that’s how it’ll be with this one too.

  • Enoch Allen

    Idiocracy was a masterpiece. Which sorta explains the treatment it received by its distribution company upon its release.

    I haven’t seen this, but agree with some of the above comments comparing it to many of the animated franchises we already have on TV today. At least this demonstrates the amount of commitment the nets have to bringing more original animated properties to existing major programming slates.

  • julian

    this is a great show …please watch ….the charactors get stronger and some funny….FUNNY ,EPISODES TOO COME .

  • EatRune

    I wanna check it out, but I’m not looking forward to the next episode . . . it’s written by the creators of Drawn Together.

  • DanO

    “I know it’s the same writer/creator.. but come on, be inovating. Are there no “original/unique” ideas out there for major studios to take risks on?!”

    Ahem… major network studio execs do not take risks. they follow proven formulas of success because every day in their tumultuous workplace someone is getting fired for failure. They are all walking on eggshells and no one wants to hop.

    There are plenty of original unique ideas out there. many of them in development as we speak where they will be bounced around and delayed and fiddled with until the consensus is that it isn’t worth the risk.
    Especially with the economy the way it is.

  • http://yeldarb86.deviantart.com Mr. Semaj

    This was boring. The problem I’ve had with King of the Hill’s later episodes is that even if they had an interesting story, they were seldom funny. Too often torn down by annoying cardboard characters and lifeless resolutions.

    Apparently, a lot of that show’s creative stifling is spilling into its successor.

  • Cyber Fox

    What’s wrong with you people?
    Sure, Office Space is a great and funny movie it because Mike Judge took the humor we know from Dilbert and take to a new level but Idiocracy is bad on ALL levels.. BAD premise for a comedy, Unlikeable characters, Horrible use of brands (ie Fox News) and biggest punch to the nuts is the ending where the never leave that sad excuse of a dystopia on account of the “Time Machine” is nothing but a fricking amusement ride. Wall-E and 1984 have better dystopias than what Mike Judge cooked up.

    the biggest reason of why it’s bad is that it fails to be funny, the Dystopian future setting is a unfitting premise for a comedy film as Dystopia movies often wind up to be sad and depressing and when a person sees this film, they are too busy gasping in misery over this dystopia than focus on the poorly written Beavis and Butthead style comedy.

    That said, here’s the summary: Beavis and Butt-head Do America = Popcorn Movie, Office Space = Comedy Gold, Idiocracy = Mike Judge’s “Batman and Robin” (as in, It Sucks!)

  • http://tofupunk.com Aabra

    Enoch: “Idiocracy was a masterpiece.”

    Masterpiece, definition: “The most outstanding work of a creative artist or craftsman. An outstanding achievement.”

    If Mike Judge can be described as a master of any craft, his finest work was, and shall always be, “Frog Baseball.” It was the funniest, sickest, silliest thing I ever saw, bootlegged ’cause it was too raunchy to be shown on MTV anymore.

    It’s all been downhill from there. Did “Office Space” even *have* a plot?? Fans claim it’s the “Superman II” money scam, but they don’t get to that for, what, 20 minutes? The third act of *every* KOTH episode is *always* a forced climax. “How can we ram our point home? How can we make sure blind, deaf bacteria buried below the surface of Mars get the political point I’m trying to make??”

    Don’t get me started on that trainwreck “Idiocracy”. a) It was written funnier and smarter in its original, uncredited form: Cyril Kornbluth’s “Marching Morons”. b) A *prostitute*?? The military doesn’t have *women* in Judge’s universe?? c) How could *only* dumb people live in America? Were India and China wiped off the earth in the future or something? d) Snazzy props and kooky names is no substitute for plot, comic timing, a good cast, decent dialogue, and characters with actual motivations, or even personalities!!!! “Look, this guy is dressed like a wrestler, and he has a silly name. That’s comedy. I have never talked to another human being or even left my basement.”

  • Mark McD

    Just caught a bit of it, so I won’t go into a reaction, but presumably we’ve all noticed that this is the THIRD cartoon series to star a spin-off character from “Beavis and Butt-head?”

  • http://www.adamkidder.com adam K

    Cheers to everyone that loved “Idiocracy”!

    I think “The Goode Family” could be better and better as it goes on. You can’t really judge a show by it’s pilot I think, look at the Simpsons.

    I was wary of the show from the commercials, but after watching the pilot I was happily surprised. Being a Judge fan I think he could steer it in the right direction and hopefully get at some stuff that other shows don’t touch or can’t.

    I say Keep it up and Good luck!

  • AnthroCoon

    Enjoyed it–thought it was funny and took some Good(e) jabs at the Left (even a couple at the Right) and political correctness (like the scene in the market –An Inconvenient Bag, ha!–and I LOL-ed at the horror, the horror, that she forgot her re-usable bag. Oh no! Luckily she comes up with a good line under pressure, though.)

    Simpsons have done more than their share of jabs at the Right but occasionally at the Left; Family Guy more strictly left-leaning humor though even a mostly conservative guy like me got a kick out of the
    song about legalizing pot (“A Bag of Weed”)

    Even some on the left may see bits of themselves and laugh, or wonder “have we gone TOO far?”

    (“We need more minority hires.” “We could just fire three more white guys.”) And, ha, a jab at ABC’s “The View”; how’d they get away with that? At least it name-checks the show, eh! And good point about “African-American”: Mrs. John Kerry is African-American, too….

    Is it as funny as KOTH? I think it’s more funny.

  • AnthroCoon

    >>As a person who falls all over the spectrum of Liberal/Conservative thinking depending on the issue (see: Free Thinker)

    In some ways I’m like that too; I’m not totally conservative on every issue. To some extent my beliefs in limited government and free markets makes me a “classical liberal” (I know it seems weird to use
    the L-word when to many I’d seem conservative, but that is one of the
    terms being thrown out there…)

  • Nothankyou

    “Personally, I gave up on Mike Judge ever since i witnessed the cataclysmic trainwreck that was “Idiocracy””

    I love when people open their mouth before they even know what they’re talking about.

    Here’s some things you should know, or at least look up before you make yourself sound ignorant.

    First off, the movie and general concept was almost completly re-written, re-tooled and had major changes forced upon it by the studio that financed it, Fox. Going up against Judge’s treatment and concept for the film.

    Secondly, Judge himself would and does share your sentiments. He hates the finished film and considers the final product to be horrible. It was out of his hands.

    But hey, good job blaming Judge for corporate meddling and re-writer to a film premise that initially had promise when it was his creative vision. That makes you so well-informed to talk about the film, not to mention, placing blame on him for a film he gave up on because even HE knew it was turned into crap against his will.

    Having said that and got that out of my system….

    I have to say, I am not impressed with this project. It’s King Of The Hill 2.0. Yawn.

    I seriously wish he’d just go back to the irreverent, and clever satire of Beavis and Butt-head, already.

    Now that they have all but faded form the public consciousness, now is the perfect time for the return of America’s two greatest dimwits to make a triumphant return.

    The unique thing about B&B is that times have changed drastically since the 90′s, with all kinds of new situations the boys could find themselves in, but yet at the same time, could still work just as well in today’s settig.

    I wish he’d give up on these poor sitcom attempts and get back to ripping, cultural satire.