Recaps for Family Tree

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FAMILY TREE: "COWBOYS" REVIEW

Family Tree continued to be, right through to the end, a moderately enjoyable little ensemble series with laughs ranging from small to medium. There was never anything uniquely miraculous about the show, but still, it amused me with its dry humor and wonderful improvised asides. Where do we go from here though - after the Season 1 finale, "Cowboys?" Well, there's certainly room for Tom's story to continue on. But should it? It seems to me as though his diversionary ancestral trek was a success. Not only in bringing family together and solving long-standing mysteries, but in rebuilding his own fragile self-worth. I mean, it sounds trite, but despite all the rigmarole and silly cousins, this was always to be a story about Tom finding new love, right? READ MORE...

Season finale review: 'Family Tree' - 'Cowboys'

HitFix's Alan Sepinwall reviews "Cowboys," the first season finale of the HBO comedy series "Family Tree." Read More... //www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-watching/season-finale-review-family-tree-cowboys-back-to-the-beach

FAMILY TREE: "INDIANS" REVIEW

Aside from Bea and Monk intermittently stealing scenes, "Indians" featured some really fun non-"usual Christopher Guest player" guest stars in the form of Kevin Pollak, Joe Lo Truglio (Wanderlust), Graham Greene (Defiance), and The Office's Oscar Nunez as a crappy car salesman who knows nothing about cars, selling cars or negotiating. READ MORE...

FAMILY TREE: "CIVIL WAR" REVIEW

With Tom still in L.A., and awaiting the eventual arrival of Pete, it's interesting to note all the ways this ancestral journey is changing him, confidence-wise. No, I don't mean traveling to the countryside, or to America, to visit with newly-discovered relatives, but instead the times when he really puts himself out there, into potentially embarrassing situations. The first of these moments came back in the second episode when he decided to participate in the pantomime horse race. It was the courageous embrace of the lunatic fringe. And while one could consider Tom's participation in the reenactment of the Battle of Huntersville a similar situation, he mostly did it as a lark and not in any way to honor his great grandfather. READ MORE...

FAMILY TREE: "WELCOME TO AMERICA" REVIEW

This week, in "Welcome to America," more Christopher Guest players (including Guest himself) entered the scene as Tom's American cousins; with Fred Willard playing the "Fred Willard" of the group, Ed Begley Jr. as a podiatrist obsessed with Native American survival skills, and Guest as a North Carolina man with a missing Peruvian wife. READ MORE...

FAMILY TREE: "COUNTRY LIFE" REVIEW

Family Tree's halfway through its season of 8 episodes now, and I've come to believe that the premise of Tom's ancestral search is both an aid and a hindrance to the series. It gets points for simply being a driving force for the show, taking Tom from one uncomfortable situation to another, but on the downside there are moments when the actual lineage mysteries bog down the comedy. I quite enjoyed Tom's blind dates during the first couple of episodes and it seemed like were were in for a great, non-family moment in "Country Life" when Tom went for a job interview, but it was over before it started. To be fair, Tom almost immediately cutting to "Please give me the job" was hilarious. READ MORE...

FAMILY TREE: "THE AUSTERITY GAMES" REVIEW

After uncovering a few goofy secrets but then hitting a bit of a dead end last week in "Treading the Boards," Tom's persistent perusing of his aunt's trunk helped him flesh out a few more corners of his family this week in "The Austerity Games." Some good stuff here, but also sometimes inconsistent with the humor, Family Tree continued along its quirky, enjoyable path. Because while there wasn't anything actually funny about discovering that Tom's grandfather William was a boxer in the 1948 Summer Games (he wasn't untalented or peculiar really), there were still moments of comedy to mine; namely Pete trying to bond with the Rastafari gym manager and then getting beaten badly in the ring by a middle-schooler. READ MORE...

FAMILY TREE: "TREADING THE BOARDS" REVIEW

Family Tree felt like it really stretched out and found more of a comedic element to play around with this week. Fans of Christopher Guest's work know that artistic communities, especially the bizarrely niche ones, are fertile ground for his improv style and "Treading the Boards" not only took Tom to an old historic theater down in Hove (not "Love"), but it steadily diminished the acting talents of his great grandfather, Harry, over the course of the episode to the point where he was literally most famous for being a horse's ass. READ MORE...

FAMILY TREE: "THE BOX" REVIEW

From writer/director Christopher Guest (This is Spinal Tap, Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show) comes the new improvised HBO series Family Tree, starring Bridesmaids' Chris O'Dowd as a laid-off accident investigator who inherits a trunk of odds and ends from his great aunt. There are occasional moments of heightened lunacy here, in the pilot episode "The Box," but mostly Family Tree is a modestly humorous look at a directionless character trying to find his footing in the world. In fact, the show is often so subtle that many scenes aren't actually played for straight laughs as they are simply trying to capture a "mockumentary" feeling. READ MORE...