Lisa Kudrow directs an ensemble that would arguably be more fun to see in a scenic read than this more literal presentation. She plays a poodle named Honey who runs group sessions for neighborhood animals, as they congregate in Honey’s owner’s living room and sit down, giving the series a chance to chat and chat. One of the biggest problems with “HouseBroken”, aside from its lack of surprising comedy, is that it can be annoying how very energetic he is, with pet friends sniffing joke after joke. . And then at the same time, the plots aren’t weird enough to really break out of the general premise bubble either, even though there are sporadic dream sequences (like when Honey dreams of being a mermaid dog) or random flashbacks. The plot is based on slightly fun parts of these different pets (like a pig’s ego about being George Clooney’s prized pig), and even the emotional connection becomes a non-factor.
The cast of “HouseBroken” may look funny on the outside: co-creator Clea DuVall voices a Corgi who is closest to the series of a social justice warrior; Nat Faxon plays a jerk on behalf of Chief St. Bernard; Tony Hale is a wayward terrier named Diablo whose owners are divorcing; Jason Mantzoukas is a filthy cat named Lyle; Bresha Webb voices a violent hamster named Nibbles; Sharon Hogan puts her acting skills to a posh cat named Tabitha; Greta Lee voices a fish named Bubbles who is not in the group, but as she says among the four episodes slated for critics, she can’t budge her bowl. They are all trying to give spirit to something that increasingly smacks of a paycheck to be earned during a pandemic. It almost gets even more frustrating to recognize talent, or see them on the IMDb page (Sharon Hogan! Who knew!), And see how they are held back by such lukewarm comedy. “HouseBroken” doesn’t even go for all the weirdness in the question of “Hey, what if Jason Mantzoukas was a horny cat?”
What’s so disheartening about the show is how much it’s expected and how much it doesn’t raise the bar that starts off on purpose low. Perhaps in trying to be more “realistic” than a talking pet book like “Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore”, it mostly focuses on their household problems and rarely spices them up with really bizarre backgrounds, actions or imaginations. And while they sit around the group, it’s just about their inner pet crises, usually involving tired jokes about being horny, alone, or accidentally pooping on the floor. The jokes tend to be grounded and predictable, especially when they show how rude and stupid the big dog Chief is, or how sassy Tabitha is because she’s a fluffy white cat with a European accent. from the east. But they’re still pets, their stories are more about animal behavior than anything like it, and everything gets very old-fashioned. “HouseBroken” caused me to miss the incredibly human fears and feelings of talking food in the grossly underrated adult animated film “Sausage Party”. It also made me sad for the countless more spirited pilots who are homeless because something like “HouseBroken” takes up space.