“Welcome to Flatch” says mostly “Keep Out” to the laughs

The mock documentary is quickly becoming overdone. While you get homeruns like “The Office” and “Abbott Elementary” from time to time…

You also get shows like Welcome to Flatch.

The show premieres tonight on FOX, but you can stream the first seven episodes on Hulu right now. This review covers the first five episodes.

After a documentary crew arrives in the small midwestern town of Flatch, we meet characters like Kelly and her cousin Shrub. There is also Big Mandy, Cheryl, Nadine, and Father Joe (played by millenial favorite Sean William Scott aka “Stifler”) who is slumming it here.

There are small town events that should be charming. The pilot takes place at the Scarecrow festival (the only mildly funny episode I screened), a hip hop dance class, and general chaos that takes place in this community.

Almost all of it misses. The effort is here. This cast is trying to lift this unfunny material into something that goes beyond awkward silence but it just doesn’t work most of the time. It feels like this show is being set up to fail. There are some emotional reaches here but we really couldn’t care less.

There are some things that are impossible to not at least chuckle at. There is a skillet throw contest, a dance off, and a Christian boy band that was big in Germany.

But you can skip “Welcome To Flatch”. This time slot and unloading the show on streaming demonstrates they don’t believe in it much either.

This concept will pop up again in a couple of years and once again after that. If you want a small town mockumentary, just rewatch “Parks and Recreation”.

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