A few weeks ago, in reviewing HBO's "Enlightened," I suggested it hadn't cracked the tricky problem of how to generate comedy out of a character largely lacking in self-awareness. At the time, I wrote:
The trick to making a comedy with this kind of character work usually involves some combination of putting them in a position of power over the people they're inadvertently offending, making them so blissful in their idiocy that it barely matters how often they embarrass themselves, or making them jerks in need of comeuppance.
Since then, I watched "Allen Gregory," a new animated comedy that FOX will debut Sunday night at 8:30, and it follows that script to a T, giving us an oblivious central character who is able to bully and walk over everyone, who is extraordinarily pleased with himself and his cultured ways, and who is very much in need of comeuppance.
And in watching it, I realized that the game is much more complicated than I suggested earlier, because "Allen Gregory" is vastly more unpleasant to watch than "Enlightened" could hope to be.