In watching the Sons of Tucson screener Fox sent over this week, a few things stuck out immediately. First and foremost, the show, which features three young brothers who effectively 'hire' a blue-collar guy to pose as their dad when their own is sent to prison, reeks of remnants of Malcolm in the Middle. Perhaps this is because the middle brother here (portrayed by Frank Dolce) calls the shots and is the "little adult" just the way Malcolm was, or perhaps it is because half the crew on Sons... came from Malcolm... anyway.
Anyway, the second thing is that Tyler Labine, who plays Ron, the somewhat schlubby guy the kids employ, is a 2010 Jack Black, right down to his long, scraggly hair, scruffy beard, and comical inflections. Both of these things are what every critic is pointing out, though. The third is one I have a feeling I may be alone in noticing: young Benjamin Stockham (youngest, mischievous brother Robbie) looks nearly identical to young, mischievous Mason Gamble from his Dennis the Menace days.
Hell, they even share some of the same mannerisms and impish wit!
Naturally this led me to abandon my review of Sons... and focus on just whatever happened to no-longer-so-young Gamble.
In truth, Gamble has come a long way since his debut as the titular surprise hero, Dennis. He has grown up-- quite literally-- into a twenty-three year old husband and adult actor who has most recently worked on television procedurals like Close to Home and CSI: Miami.
These days Gamble more resembles heartthrob actor Justin Hartley than any tow-headed, innocent little kid. But watching Stockham on-screen with his big eyes and right-parted hair is a definite throwback. In fact, if Gamble were just a little bit older, I would have assumed Stockham is his son!