Run Time: 30 min
Review Based On: First Two Episodes
Just when I started to get excited about Pure Flix’s television series, I watched Malibu Dan the Family Man. What could have been a fun Christian family sitcom was, instead, a cheap D-class production that took all of my strength to get through. The acting performances I saw, while straining to hear behind the constant laugh tracks, were so juvenile I wanted to watch The Disney Channel for more realism. In fact, the only reason that the show gained a star rating as high as it did is because it wasn’t blasphemous, isn’t inappropriate in any way, and seemed slightly more palatable in the second episode. This last point, however, might have been due to an effect similar to Stockholm syndrome.
Malibu Dan the Family Man stars David A.R. White as Dan Marshall, a talk show host juggling his work and home life. When struggles arise, he tries to make the right choice based on what God would want him to do. Malibu Dan the Family Man also stars Kelly Stables (Superstore, The Exes), Kevin Downes (Woodlawn, Mom’s Night Out), Andrea Logan White (Mom’s Night Out, Do You Believe?), Lauren Harper (God’s Not Dead 2, Door in the Woods), Brad Heller (Hitting the Breaks, The Encounter), and Aria Walters (The Encounter, They Hear It).
The most positive thing I can say about this Pure Flix comedy is that they know how to create an appealing poster. It’s professional quality, colorful, and screams “fun sitcom.” I just wished the show’s quality matched the poster.
Immediately you are hit in the face with a noticeably fake laugh track. I understand that laugh tracks are a key element in television sitcoms like Friends and Seinfeld. Without them, a sitcom seems baron and noticeably awkward. However, all good things should be used in moderation. Whoever inserted the laugh tracks in Malibu Dan the Family Man was having a little too much fun with the button. They start a scene and before anyone even says anything-laugh track. Dan tells his wife, “I think I’m getting fired,”-laugh track. Laugh tracks were littered across the show with no regard for what was funny and what wasn’t.
This brings me to the acting. Ouch. It was the type of acting you would expect to see in a community theater production geared towards children. It just hurt. The only person that I enjoyed watching at all was Kelly Stables. I loved her on The Exes, so throughout the show I clung to her performance like a life raft in a storm.
The storyline was mediocre. There wasn’t any real originality in it. I could have gotten over this if the characters were strong and the jokes were funny. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel connected with any of them and the jokes were as unoriginal as the plotline. The first episode made fun of Millennials with the same tired jokes we’ve all heard before. The second episode was about Dan becoming insecure when his wife started doing “man’s work” around the house. He of course tries to do “women’s work” and doesn’t do very well at it; a plot pulled straight from the 1950’s.
When reviewing films, it comes with the territory that some will be great and others will be…not so great. This one, however, really made me sad. It think it’s because I wanted so badly for it to be good. I desperately want a Christian sitcom that I can turn on in the mornings before work. One that makes me laugh and forget my problems for 30 minutes. One in which the characters are Christian, lovable, and relatable. I suppose that I’ll just have to wait a little longer for that dream to be realized.
WHAT AGE GROUP IS IT FOR?
Nothing in the show is inappropriate. The acting and comedy in the show might actually be more accepted by children. Therefore, I would give it a PG rating. You can watch it with the whole family.
LOOKING TO SHOW IT AT CHURCH?
I would highly recommend not showing this at church. It’s not a great representation of Christian media. There are much better options available.