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Family Tools: Season 1 (2013)




Average Rating: 3.2/10
Reviews Counted: 15
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 13

An impressive cast can't save Family Tools from its fate as an uninspired sitcom with broad jokes and little personality of its own.


Average Rating: 2.3/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 7

An impressive cast can't save Family Tools from its fate as an uninspired sitcom with broad jokes and little personality of its own.


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Season Info

In this enjoyable sitcom, which was based on the British-TV comedy "White Van Man," middle-aged Tony Shea (J.K. Simmons), who runs a fix-it business, develops heart problems, which necessitate having his luckless, prodigal screw-up son Jack (Kyle Bornheimer) return home to take over the family operation. As the new Mr. Jiffy-Fix, Jack inherits slacker co-worker Darren (Edi Gathegi) and sets out to make a go of the biz. Jack's vocational track record, however, isn't good, having been tossed out

Genre: Comedy

Network: ABC



Air date: May 1, 2013


Mixing family with business is never easy, and Jack Shea is about to learn that lesson the hard way.

Air date: May 8, 2013

Now You See Me, Now You Don't

When Jack and Darren take a job in a corporate office, Jack tries to reconnect with a former high school crush, while Darren questions his status after one of his ideas is stolen.

Air date: May 15, 2013

Beachwood Approved

Jack scores a plum job in an affluent neighborhood, where an interfering Tony disagrees with most of his decisions. Later, Terry preps Tony for his physical, while Darren continuously dumps Ellis on Stitch.

Air date: May 29, 2013

Book Club Romance

After being off the market for years, Tony strikes up a romance only to have Jack discover that his is new girlfriend is two-timing him. Meanwhile, Mason is frustrated with Aunt Terry for not letting him drive.

Air date: Jun 5, 2013

Waiting for Mrs. Bichette

Stitch prepares for her community college graduation, which leads Jack to seek out Darren and Stitch's estranged and elusive mother.

Air date: Jun 12, 2013

Role Model

Terry thinks Mason needs a strong male role model and, lacking a better option, enlists Jack to step in. Meanwhile Tony, Darren and Stitch buy Ellis a new wheelchair and trick it out.

Air date: Jun 19, 2013

The Big Event

When Jack and Darren get locked in a room at a client's house, their bickering reveals the underlying reasons for their continuous conflict.

Air date: Jun 26, 2013

Jack Steps Up

Tables are turned when Terry takes ill and Tony has to take care of her for a spell. Meanwhile, Jack discovers that Stitch's new boyfriend feels threatened by her feelings for him, and now Jack must determine whether it's time to step up.

Air date: Jul 3, 2013

Pest Side Story

Jack gets bullied by some pest-control guys and then gets bugged when Tony advises him on how to handle the matter, which he'd rather deal with in his own way. Meanwhile, Terry sets her sights on winning a neighborhood art show.

Air date: Jul 10, 2013

Terry by Design

In the series finale, Terry's impressive work for a client leads Jack to add her design talents to the family business, but soon her division of Mr. Jiffy Fix seems to be taking over, so Jack and Darren try to come up with a way to separate the businesses. Meanwhile, Mason's new CPR certification has him champing at the bit to put his lifesaving talents to the test.

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All Critics (15) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (2) | Rotten (13)

This show is so terribly written and not funny that it doesn't warrant a real review.

May 2, 2013 Full Review Source: Television Without Pity
Television Without Pity

Family Tools is a fixer-upper.

May 1, 2013 Full Review Source: Boston Herald
Boston Herald

The show takes an almost Frankenstein approach to its individual pieces, snipping off aspects of more successful, funnier shows already in ABC's lineup.

May 1, 2013 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club

With Tools, there is no discernible style, or point of view, or voice, or humor that ever rises to the level of originality.

May 1, 2013 Full Review Source: Newsday

Not even the droll comedic stylings of the ubiquitous J.K. Simmons can free Family Tools from its chains of inferiority.

May 1, 2013 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Instead of trusting this foundation and these actors, though, Family Tools seems to feel it must make every situation and interaction so outrageous it turns the characters into cartoons.

May 1, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News

It's one of the best new comedy ensembles of the entire season. Maybe THE best.

May 1, 2013 Full Review Source:

As much as I disliked the first episode, I would cautiously recommend the second.

May 1, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times

Are you laughing yet? No wonder ABC saved this show to burn off over early summer.

April 30, 2013 Full Review Source: RedEye

Why, on so many levels; why? It seems tragic that, given the number of comedy writers out there, ABC didn't come up with a stronger vehicle than "Family Tools."

April 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe

Family Tools is to comedy what a chainsaw is to birthday cake cutting. It doesn't work well and makes a mess.

April 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Uncle Barky
Uncle Barky

Packed with jokes both subtle and broad as if quantity would make up for quality, it soon goes from unimpressive to annoying.

April 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Media Life
Media Life

Family Tools doesn't manage to be all that funny.

April 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A series so uninspired even the network appears pretty blase about it, starting with its late-spring, not-even-after-Modern Family timeslot.

April 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Variety

The actors in Family Tools are so much better than the material they're given.

April 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

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