Fox’s ‘Welcome to Flatch’ needs less corny jokes to succeed


Image used with permission from Fox.

Chelsea Holmes (left) plays Kelly Mallet, the cousin of Sam Straley’s Lloyd “Shrub” Mallet, in Fox’s latest attempt at a mockumentary series, “Welcome to Flatch.” The 14-episode debut season is scheduled to end May 26.

Scarlett Chang

A new venture by Fox, “Welcome to Flatch” is a rural take on documentary comedies, yet based on the premiere episode, it falls short of the expectations set by iconic TV series such as Fox’s “This Country” and NBC’s “The Office.”

The mockumentary features Kelly Mallet (Chelsea Holmes, “This Country”) and Lloyd “Shrub” Mallet (Sam Straley, “The Kids Are Alright”) as two mischievous, teenage cousins, famed for stirring trouble throughout their small, fictional town of Flatch, Ohio.

A town tradition, the Fall Festival makes its reappearance in the pilot episode, and Kelly and Shrub have burning desires to bring home trophies from different competitions. 

Together, they prepare for their respective contests, but trial after trial leads to chaos and failure for the both of them. They have mentors like their town pastor, (Seann William Scott, “Lethal Weapon”), who supports them in their endeavors and wants them to lead upstanding, successful lives; nevertheless, the majority of the town looks down upon them. 

“Welcome to Flatch’s” pilot episode – originally aired on St. Patrick’s Day but can be streamed via Fox’s streaming app – has an interesting and potentially entertaining plot, but the humor is lost between the corny jokes and forced modern references.

Had the show gained a deeper perspective on the realistic aspects of rural life, it would have been more interesting and bearable to watch; yet it relies on overused stereotypes of farm life. 

In addition to lacking in unique characters, the producers made the poor choice of introducing too many, causing viewers to have no time to form connections with any of them.

One facet to look forward to in the upcoming episodes is to see whether Kelly will continue to mend her relationship with her father. She is perceived to have a desire for his approval, but he, unfortunately, is uninterested in her life and focuses on his new child. 

While mockumentaries have succeeded in the past, it’s uncertain whether it’s worth the time to watch the other 13 episodes slated for this season that’s scheduled to air Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. until May 26.

They may not be as welcoming as viewers would hope.