‘Why Him?’ Red-Band Trailer Touts Family, Christmastime Togetherness, Moose Testicles
The entertainment industry has done Bryan Cranston dirty. His award-hoarding turn as mild-mannered meth kingpin Walt White on Breaking Bad should have cracked Hollywood wide open for him, with high-power producers lining up to cast him in the next big prestige release. But for every Trumbo (which earned Cranston an Oscar nomination, despite plenty of shortcomings), there is a Why Him?, and the soggy prosthetic moose scrotum that goes with it.
Respected thespian Cranston returns to the perpetually-flustered-dad comic mode of Malcolm in the Middle in the comedy due December 23, the red-band trailer for which surfaced today. He’s Ned, the overprotective patriarch of the Fleming clan, and he’s equally baffled and infuriated when his beloved daughter Stephanie (Zoey Deutch) introduces her new beau Laird (James Franco). A combination between Mark Zuckerberg, Dave Navarro, and a guy who sells T-shirts at the beach, tech kajillionaire Laird represents everything Ned loathes in this world — there’s no way Ned will let the buffoon take Stephanie’s hand without a little fight. A battle of wills ensues, complete with pratfalls on the tennis court, hostile corporate spite-buyouts, and of course, that dream-haunting faux moose scrotum.
Megan Mullally and Griffin Gluck fill out the cast as the other members of the Fleming family, and Keegan-Michael Key pops up for a moment in the new trailer as Gustav, the oddly-attired manservant at Laird’s palatial home. Strong cast notwithstanding, however, the trailer does not inspire a whole lot of confidence. We’ve already made ample mention of the intimate moose anatomy, not to mention the highly questionable premise of two men fighting for de facto ownership of a woman. But after five seasons of what might be modern TV’s most consistently arresting performance, perhaps Cranston has earned the benefit of the doubt. He’s owed at least that much, right?