Streaming Spotlight by Cindy Summers
3 out of 4 palm trees
Outmatched (Season 1) – Hulu & FOX.com
What do you get when two average high school students get married and have four children, three extreme geniuses and the fourth you can’t be quite sure about? You get two adults constantly Outmatched by their children. This hilarious sitcom features the everyday life of blue collar couple Mike (Jason Biggs) and Kay (Maggie Lawson) and the unique challenges they face raising three kids with genius I.Q.s that constantly challenge and confuse the simpler minds of their parents in ways you wouldn’t normally find in the usual family dynamic.
The kids all have extremely different interests and specialties: Brian (Connor Kalopsis) is 16 and gifted in science and tech but very socially awkward; Nicole (Ashley Boettcher) is 12 and has political aspirations though struggles with unfounded intellectual inferiority; Marc (Jack Stanton) is 10, gifted in music though has a strange dark side constantly sharing intellectual facts on mortality; and Leila (Oakley Bull) is 8 and doesn’t appear to have a genius I.Q. like her siblings do and her simple way of life is the only relief Mike and Kay have from constant intellectual overload.
What do these parents hope for? Usually the things most parents would avoid, like being happy to finally have to go down to the principal’s office for something Marc had done, which ended up being bullying, but not any student, he was constantly correcting and belittle the intelligence of his teacher. They escape to their “parent fort” in the basement where they drink beer and ease the stress of their mentally challenging lives with things like strip poker.
The pilot opens with them being told that their youngest son Marc is a genius, to which they respond to by breaking a cupboard door, cursing and gestures of loss and disappointment. When the woman shared it was the highest she personally tested, it starts a competition in the house over who’s I.Q. is highest with the older kids trying various ways to intellectually trick their parents into finding out their number, which was intentionally kept from them. At one point Mike senses that he’s being tricked, but can’t figure out how and calls Cay for backup.
Through the 10 episodes we meet Mike and Cay friends, Irwin (Finesse Mitchell) and Rita (Tisha Campbell-Martin) who discover much to their surprise that they are the children’s guardians during Nicole’s “Guardians of Geniuses” PowerPoint presentation. There’s also a surprise visit from grandparents Jay (Tony Danza) and Sylvia (Caroline Aaron), who also cannot relate to the genius children, Jay saying openly for that reason Leila was his favorite.
With so many challenging things happening to everyone, I just wanted to share something that was completely void of seriousness and filled with lighthearted comedy, and sure the laugh track is a bit cheesy, but the writing is witty and portrays some funny and completely unusual family situations. Watch Outmatched on HULU or www.fox.com/outmatched
10 Episodes: 22 minutes each