Fall 2015 Pilot Reviews: Grandfathered and The Grinder

FOX seems to largely be promoting these shows together so I figured I may as well review them together too.

Show: Grandfathered

When It Airs: Tuesdays on ABC at 8:00 p.m. EST

Do I Want to Watch More? YES.

I am incredibly charmed by this show. John Stamos and babies are a very cute combination and that is one adorable kid they found to play Edie. It’s not the most original show in the world but it feels cozy and lived in. The cast all have great chemistry with each other, particularly Stamos and Paget Brewster. Their sarcastic bickering feels like there is history and at one point, even love behind it and this show sells them as a former couple.

I’m interested to see why Sara broke up with Jimmy long ago and why she never told Gerald that she was the one who initiated the breakup. As much as I enjoy watching Stamos be incredibly charismatic with a baby, it’s Sara and Jimmy’s previous relationship that has me the most intrigued.

The restaurant scenes are less interesting to me and I assume they will fade away at some point or become a tiny background feature but I hope they keep Annelise around. Her interactions with Sara were very brief but I’d like to see them develop at least a casual relationship, as both seem to know how to tame Jimmy’s eternal playboy nature, which is much appreciated.

Nothing about this show is particularly subtle but it was very fun to watch and I can’t wait to see more.

Show: The Grinder

When It Airs: Tuesdays on ABC at 8:30 EST

Do I Want to Watch More? Probably not.

There’s nothing wrong with The Grinder, it’s a perfectly fine show. It was just one that didn’t feel like it was for me. Like Stamos in Grandfathered, Rob Lowe is a charming man. He can sell a great number of very intense parts and a little bit of self-delusion that other people would have a difficult time with. And that’s exactly what he’s doing here. Dean Sanderson, Jr. aka The Grinder is an actor by trade. He became a star on a hit legal show and decided to join the family legal business when his show concluded. There is a lot of mental leaps that a person would have to take in order to think that was a reasonable thing to do. He’s flashy but lacks substance or experience as an actual lawyer.

His brother on the other hand, is a lawyer but is terrible at speaking in court. He has the experience and the knowledge but with none of the flash. And honestly, it was him that I related to more. In his position, I would have been really annoyed. I’m very biased here because Stewart is clearly presented as the less interesting brother and if I had a sibling, I would be the less interesting one as well with my lack of flashy personality. So I mostly felt badly for him. Though despite my personal issues that influenced my judgement, I will say that Lowe and Fred Savage work very nicely together as very different brothers.

I don’t anticipate that dynamic will continue for the whole season and expect them to meet in the middle at some point in their approaches. But I don’t think I have the desire to watch that transformation take place. As I said, there is nothing wrong with the show and I know there are many who will prefer it to Grandfathered, but it’s not what I’m looking for right now.

What did you think of tonight’s new comedies? Which one did you prefer?


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