Dylan Baker
Credit: The Pitts:Carin Baer

A great new show by Fox is The Pitts. It stars Dylan Baker as Bob Pitt, a suburban dad and ludicrously cheerful fellow who runs one of those mailbox-and-postage stores with his wife, Liz (Kellie Waymire). This self-described ”unlucky” family also contains a devilish son, Petey (David Henrie) — and I mean that literally; the pilot’s opening scene is Petey’s exorcism — and a rare nice teen daughter named Faith (Lizzy Caplan) who says, ”Here, let me help you with that bile.”

The Pitts has a cartoonish quality, and why shouldn’t it? It was created by two ”Simpsons” vets, Mike Scully and Julie Thacker-Scully; Baker’s Bob is Ned Flanders come to life, minus the religiosity. The show is blithely unreal — a used Volkswagen Bug bought for Faith curls its front bumper into a smile and talks to its new owner. ”I don’t want a haunted car!” wails Faith. ”I already own a haunted cello!” I’m a sucker for non sequitur jokes like that, as well as Baker’s peppy delivery of corny ones such as (uttered while bringing in the mail), ”Bills, bills, bills! We keep getting Bill’s mail!”

While it is impossible to forgive Fox for never committing to the wonderful ”Andy Richter Controls the Universe,” we must not hold that against ”The Pitts.” For anyone who’s seen Baker as the oppressive pedophile in Todd Solondz’s 1998 film ”Happiness,” his turn as a wacky optimist only adds to ”The Pitts”’ unsettling but undeniable pleasure. All this, plus a rockin’ little theme song by NRBQ. I’ll take that over reality any day.

The Pitts
  • TV Show