Bad news for the ABC network, as its latest sitcom gets a hefty kicking from the critics, despite a strong cast performance. Sadly, it seems that the days of the single-camera sitcom being seen as innovative or unusual are well and truly over. Whilst some critics tried to find solace in the strong cast performances, others were less kind and gave the show a solid dismissal.

The review from the Boston Globe labels the show “a not-so-noble failure.” Based on a two-season British show entitled White Van Man, the comedy is centred around a family business called Mr Jiffy Fix. Tough guy Tony Shea hands over the reins of the business to his son Jack, who has just dropped out of school. “Kookiness ensues around the house,” the report reveals. “Kookiness also ensues when Jack goes out on jobs with his assistant Darren (Edi Gathegi), including kookiness with a nail gun and kookiness with hand drills. There are a few successful jokes here and there, and some able physical comedy involving Bornheimer and Gathegi, but those moments get lost in the shuffle of predictability.”

Elsewhere, USA Today surmised that Family Tools “needs to be a little sharper,” remarking that it has “a strong cast led by Bornheimer, J.K. Simmons and Leah Remini, and little else to recommend it.” Boston Herald are similarly dismayed at the low quality of the material, opening their review with the line “Kyle Bornheimer is a funny guy – so why can’t he land a decent sitcom?” 

Kyle Bornheimer
Kyle Bornheimer - let down by Family Tools