Jun 23, 2018

The Detour

The Detour starts with a dream family -- Dad Nate, Mom Robin, 12-year old Delilah, 11-year old Jared --  heterosexual but gay-friendly, white but conscious of white privilege, middle class but not at all classist, so liberal that if there weren't any injustices left in the world, they would have to invent new ones.  They set out from their home in Syracuse, New York for a vacation in Florida.  For some reason they must drive instead of fly.  And then things start to fall apart.

In addition to the usual road trip stalled cars and colorful small town residents (no one ever takes the Interstate), many of their mishaps involve misunderstandings that make the group appear racist, sexist, classist, or homophobic, their worst nightmare.

At a medieval-themed restaurant, if you're fighting a guy wearing armour, you want to aim at a "chink in the armor," right?

Or their attempt to fight injustice backfire.

In a small Southern town, they think they are fighting against anti-Semitism by helping a Jewish doctor marry his Gentile girlfriend.  But they don't realize that he's actually planning to marry the woman's 15-year old daughter.

Plus we gradually realize that this "perfect" family is not so perfect after all.

Nate (Jason Jones) isn't on vacation, he's been fired.  And he has stolen one of his company's secret inventions, which he intends to sell in Florida.

Robin has a dozen aliases.

They aren't actually married.  The kids may or may not be theirs.

Jared (Liam Carroll) is actually named Jareb (don't ask).

Flash-forward scenes show Nate being interrogated by the FBI.

The first season (2016) is great.  It is lot of fun watching well-meaning intentions blow up in their faces, and watching their "perfect" lives unravel. 

No identified gay characters,but gay people are mentioned.

A substantial amount of beefcake.  Jason Jones has quite a physique, and various guest stars are shown shirtless.

My only quibbles are:

1. Too much hetero kissing.  Nate and Robin are all over each other all the time.
2. Too much gross-out humor.
3. Too much attention paid to Jared's body parts.  He gets as many shirtless and semi-nude scenes as Nate.  Leave the kid alone; he's 11.

In the second season (2017), the group moves to New York, so the "road trip" dynamic is lost, and the mystery in a mystery in a mystery becomes tedious.  This isn't Lost: give us some answers!

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