Friday, January 10, 2014

Fox Midseason Pilot Review: Enlisted - Premieres Tonight; Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 13, 2014)

Enlisted

Enlisted - Fridays at 9:30PM ET/PT on Fox
Premieres Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:30PM ET/PT


by Vincent

Enlisted is a new workplace comedy centered around a slightly different kind of workplace - the Army. Created by Kevin Biegel (Cougar Town, Scrubs), the show follows Pete Hill after he is booted from the front line and sent to supervise a troop of rejected misfits - a troop that happens to include his two brothers. The show follows Pete's experiences as he attempts to juggle his new troop while repairing his relationship with his brothers.

Cast Details:

Geoff Stults as Staff Sergeant Pete Hill
Chris Lowell as Corporal Derrick Hill
Parker Young as Private Randy Hill
Keith David as Command Sergeant Major Donald Cody
Angelique Cabral as Sergeant Jill Perez

Geoff Stults (Pete Hill) is known for his television work on shows such as 7th Heaven, October Road, The Finder, Happy Town and Ben and Kate. He has also starred in several movies, including The Break-Up, She's Out of my League and Wedding Crashers.

Chris Lowell (Derrick Hill) is best known for his role as Piz on Veronica Mars. He also starred as William "Dell" Parker on both Grey's Anatomy (guest star) and its spin-off Private Practice (series regular). He also co-starred on the award-winning film The Help.

Parker Young (Randy Hill) is best known as Ryan Shay on Suburgatory. He has also guest starred on shows such as CSI: NY, Mad Men, and Jane By Design. He was also a former model. He recently starred in the TV movie Killer Reality.

Keith David (Donald Cody) is known for his roles in films such as Crash, There's Something About Mary, Barbershop, and Men At Work. He is also well-known for his voiceover work in video games including the Halo and Transformers series, in movies such as The Princess and the Frog, and in the animated series Adventure Time.

Angelique Cabral (Jill Perez) has done extensive work on soap operas, including The Guiding Light, All My Children, and One Life to Live. She has also guest starred on comedies such as Two and a Half Men, Happy Endings, and Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23.


Pilot Plot:

"Pilot" (airs Friday, January 10 at 9:30 PM ET/PT)

In the premiere episode of Enlisted, Staff Sergeant Pete Hill is booted to Fort McGee, the post where his two younger brothers - Corporal Derrick Hill and Private Randy Hill are stationed. Now, as their platoon sergeant, Pete must serve both as big brother and military boss. Between clean-up duty at a parade, human-grease-bowling and assorted soldierly pranks, they will inadvertently discover the key to strengthening their long-lost childhood bonds.

Analysis:

The military has to be a fairly hard thing to write a sitcom about. Sure, it was the center of one of the most successful examples of the genre in television history, but you have to make your show funny enough that people don't notice the potentially grim topics you're dealing with, and dramatic enough that it doesn't seem like you're making light of one of the most respected institutions in American society. That's probably why you don't see too many sitcoms that deal with the armed forces. You have M*A*S*H, you have Hogan's Heroes, and you have...I don't know, Major Dad? Compared to the amount of sitcoms about, say, single people working in the big city, it's a pretty small number. It's an incredibly hard setting to sell - which is what makes it all the more impressive that Enlisted manages to sell it perfectly.

What makes Enlisted work so well is how effortless it all seems. The show doesn't bother trying to introduce us to its military world all that much - it just drops us right in and sets us free, to surprisingly effective results. This is possible because the show, even in this early stage, already knows its setting, its characters and its identity remarkably well. There are far less growing pains than there are in most comedy pilots - the characters feel well-developed already (although they develop even more in the shows' excellent second episode), and the character dynamics and central conflict of the show are both clear and powerful by the end of the episode. This also trickles down to the humor, which feels surprisingly natural through-out the entire pilot. Enlisted is a goofy show with a lot of old-school broad humor, but it also manages to mix in the clever, snappy writing that has become a staple in modern single-camera sitcoms and create a comic identity that already feels fully-formed and unique.

But perhaps the greatest strength of Enlisted is the shows' heart. It's probably necessary for a military comedy to inject some sort of heart, but the pathos in Enlisted has actual depth that stems believably from its characters. Yes, this is mostly a silly comedy, but it's a silly comedy that wants to be something just a bit more than that, and the fact that it's already succeeding this early in its run is an incredibly promising sign. Add that to the shows' strong sense of humor and well-developed characters, and it becomes clear that Enlisted is one of the seasons' best comedies.

Conclusion:

Enlisted has the potential to be a real gem of a show. The writing is strong, the characters are already fairly well-developed, and the humor is mostly on-point. Add all of that to the fact that the show has a clear and dedicated purpose, and you have one of the seasons' best new comedies. Unfortunately, Enlisted may be a bit of a diamond in the rough - Fox is burying it on Friday nights, a perplexing move for such a promising comedy. It's a shame to see a show that's already so good getting such shoddy treatment, so hopefully Fox is kind to the show in its terrible timeslot and gives it some time to prove itself. If it does, we could have a really great show on our hands.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 4.5/5
Funniness: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

Discuss the show after you watch it on Friday, Jan. 10, 2014 at 9:30PM ET/PT on our message board.

Related Links:

  • Fox.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Enlisted Photo Gallery

    Preview:





  • It's Friday, so it is time for "Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows" for the coming week. This is where we list what sitcom stars are appearing on talk shows for the coming week, the stars are both current and past sitcom stars, so this is for all sitcom fans of all eras!
    For the week of Jan. 13-17, 2014, we have many current sitcom stars and past sitcom stars on TV talk shows! All times listed are Eastern. So get your DVRs (or whatever you use) ready! Ready? Here is all what you need to know for the coming week!

    Monday, January 13, 2014

    • Bill Cosby (The Cosby Show/Cosby/The Bill Cosby Show) - Watch the legendary Mr. Cosby on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
    • Queen Latifah (Living Single) - Queen Latifah appears on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:37am on NBC. She will also be on The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT. Finally, she stops by to catch up with the livest audience on 106 & Park on BET at 6pm.
    • Courteney Cox (Cougar Town/Friends) - Courteney is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
    • Cheryl Hines (Suburgatory/Curb Your Enthusiasm) - Cheryl chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
    • Wendell Pierce (The Michael J. Fox Show/The Weber Show/The Gregory Hines Show) - Wendell stops by The Aresenio Hall Show, so check your local listings.
    • Brooke D'Orsay (Two and a Half Men/Gary Unmarried) - Brooke discusses her role in the Hallmark Channel original movie, June in January, on Home & Family at 10am on Hallmark Channel.
    • Sherri Shepherd (Less Than Perfect/Sherri) - Sherri is a guest on ABC's Good Morning America between 7-9am.
    • NeNe Leakes (The New normal) - NeNe appears on New York Live on WNBC at 12:30pm ET.
    • Dove Cameron (Liv and Maddie) - Dove will be on PIX11 Morning News in New York at 8:45am.
    Tuesday, January 14, 2014
    • Matt LeBlanc (Friends/Episodes) - Catch Matt on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
    • Michael Strahan (Brothers) - Michael appears on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
    • Rhea Perlman (Kirstie/Cheers) - Rhea is a guest on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
    • Joel McHale (Community) - Joel visits Conan at 11pm on TBS.
    • Debra Messing (Will & Grace) - Debra chats about the play Outside Mullingar on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your local listings.
    • Kevin Jonas (JONAS/Jonas L.A.) - Kevin is a guest on The Better Show, so check your local listings.
    • Cheryl Hines (Suburgatory/Curb Your Enthusiasm) - Cheryl joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
    • Will Arnett (The Millers/Arrested Development) - Will drops by The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
    • Betty White (Hot in Cleveland/The Golden Girls/The Mary Tyler Moore Show) - The legendary Ms. White chats on The Queen Latifah Show, so check your local listings.
    • Leah Remini (The King of Queens, Mary McCormack (Welcome to the Family and Whitney Cummings (Whitney - They will be part of the guest panel on Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
    • Candace Cameron Bure (Full House) - Candace discusses her new book, Balancing It All: My Story of Juggling Priorities and Purpose, on Home & Family at 10am on Hallmark Channel.
    • Dove Cameron (Liv and Maddie) - Dove will be on The Couch on WLNY 10/55 in New York between 7-9am.
    Wednesday, January 15, 2014
    • Joseph Gordon-Levitt (3rd Rock from the Sun) - Watch Joseph on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
    • Kevin Hart (The Big House/Undeclared) - Kevin drops by The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS. He will also be on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael to talk about his new film Ride Along, so check your listings. Finally, he is a guest on NBC's Today.
    • Cheryl Hines (Suburgatory/Curb Your Enthusiasm) and Ana Gasteyer (Suburgatory) - Cheryl and Ana dish about the new season of Suburgatory on ABC on The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations. Ana will also be on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
    • Sherri Shepherd (Less Than Perfect/Sherri) - Sherri talks about about New Year’s resolutions and guilty pleasures on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
    • Diane Farr (Like Family/The Job) - Diane guest co-hosts The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
    • Kym Whitley (Let's Stay Together/Animal Practice/Sparks) - Kym is a guest on The Steve Harvey Show, so check your local listings.
    • Rhea Perlman (Kirstie/Cheers) - Rhea stops by The Queen Latifah Show, so check your local listings.
    • Jeremy Sisto (Suburgatory) - Jeremy appears on The Queen Latifah Show, so check your local listings.
    • Dove Cameron (Liv and Maddie) - Dove will be on ABC's Good Morning America between 7-9am.
    • Gillian Jacobs (Community) - Gillian is a guest on Pop Sugar on TV Guide Network at 6pm and on the next day on their website at noon.
    • Michael Urie (Partners) - Michael talks about his new play Buyer & Cellar on The Couch on WLNY 10/55 in New York between 7-9am.
    • Melissa Joan Hart (Baby Daddy/Sabrina, the Teenage Witch) and Joey Lawrence (Baby Daddy/Brotherly Love/Gimme a Break!) - Melissa and Joey will talk about Baby Daddy on Entertainment Tonight, so check your local listings.
    Thursday, January 16, 2014
    • Joseph Gordon-Levitt (3rd Rock from the Sun) - Catch Joseph on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
    • Kristin Chenoweth (Kristin/Sit Down, Shut Up) - Kristin appears on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno at 11:35pm on NBC.
    • Ana Gasteyer (Suburgatory) - Ana visits Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:37am on NBC. She will also be on Fox and Friends at 8am on Fox News Channel.
    • Don Cheadle (The Golden Palace) - Don is a guest on Tavis Smiley on PBS, but check listings for time.
    • Diane Farr (Like Family/The Job) - Diane guest co-hosts The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
    • Diahann Carroll (Julia) - Diahann drops by The Arsenio Hall Show, so check your local listings.
    • Queen Latifah (Living Single) - Queen Latifah chats on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
    • John C. McGinley (Ground Floor/Scrubs) - John discusses his family's journey with Down syndrome on Home & Family at 10am on Hallmark Channel.
    • Marilu Henner (Taxi/Evening Shade) - Marilu will be on Good Day New York on WNYW-Fox5 in New York between 7-9am. She will also be on The Couch on WLNY 10/55 in New York between 7-9am. Finally, she is a guest on New York Live on WNBC at 12:30pm ET.
    • Cheryl Hines (Suburgatory/Curb Your Enthusiasm) - Cheryl is a guest on Pop Sugar on TV Guide Network at 6pm and on the next day on their website at noon.
    • Kevin Hart (The Big House/Undeclared) - Kevin appears on 106 & Park on BET at 6pm.
    Friday, January 17, 2014
    • Sofia Vergara (Modern Family/Hot Properties/The Knights of Prosperity) - Watch Sofia on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
    • Don Cheadle (the Golden Palace) - Don visits The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
    • Kevin Hart (The Big House/Undeclared) - Kevin stops by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:37am on NBC.
    • Chelsea Peretti (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) - Chelsea appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
    • Chelsea Handler (Are You There, Chelsea?) - Chelsea is a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno at 11:35pm on NBC.
    • Ed Begley Jr. (Gary Unmarried/Wednesday 9:30 (8:30 Central)) - Ed and his family discuss their web series on Home & Family at 10am on Hallmark Channel.
    • Dove Cameron (Liv and Maddie) - Dove stops by The Better Show, so check your local listings.
    • Marilu Henner (Taxi/Evening Shade) - Marilu appears on NBC's Today.
    • Lisa Whelchel and Mindy Cohn (The Facts of Life) - Lisa and Mindy will be featured on Oprah: Where Are They Now? at 9pm ET/PT on OWN.
    Leave us comments on our message board or Tweet/Facebook us to let us know what you think of this Friday feature! We do listen!


    New on DVD/Blu-ray (December/January)

    American Dad! - Volume 11 Newhart - The Complete Seventh Season I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized) The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two Hooperman - Season One

    12/06 - Family Guy - Season Fourteen
    12/13 - American Dad! - Volume 11
    12/13 - Newhart - The Complete Seventh Season
    01/03 - Girls - The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray)
    01/10 - Broad City - Season 3
    01/17 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized)
    01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume One
    01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two
    01/24 - Hooperman - Season One
    01/24 - Hooperman - Season Two
    01/31 - Ballers - The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
    More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


    Sitcoms Airing Tonight

    Sunday, January 22

    Son of Zorn - "Radioactive Ex-Girlfriend" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    With Craig and Edie’s engagement party around the corner, everyone is figuring out who to bring. Alan struggles to figure out his relationship status with Layla, while Zorn rekindles with his ex, Radiana (Olivia Wilde), who is literally radioactive. All the while, Craig has just received his certificate in relationship counseling and is helping others, but just can’t seem to help himself.

    Bob's Burgers - "See Me Now" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    Teddy organizes a day trip on his newly refurbished boat in an effort to impress his ex-wife, Denise. Meanwhile, Tina attempts to show that she is responsible enough for a cell phone by taking care of Bob’s prized eraser from the restaurant. Can both Teddy and Tina prove themselves.

    The Simpsons - "Friends and Family" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    Mr. Burns hires the Simpsons to play his live-in virtual reality family, but excludes Homer so that he may play dad. Now alone, Homer finds a new best friend in girl-next-door Julia, who eats, drinks and thinks like him.

    Son of Zorn - "The Battle of Self-Acceptance" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
    Craig is worried he’s not man enough for Edie and asks Zorn to help him become a warrior. Meanwhile, to get closer to Layla, Alan finds a way to change the thing about which he’s most insecure, but ends up going to extreme.

    Family Guy - "Peternormal Activity" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    The guys go to an abandoned asylum seeking inspiration for a new horror movie idea, but end up accidentally killing a man they think is keeping them hostage. Wracked with guilt, they each try to pin the murder on someone else. Meanwhile, Stewie is on a mission to destroy Brian’s glasses because he’s annoyed by how pretentious Brian’s been acting when he wears them.

    Bob's Burgers - "Teen-A-Witch" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    With Halloween quickly approaching, Tina reveals her brilliant idea that will finally win her first place in the annual costume contest. When Tammy steals her idea, Tina is forced to seek the help of Mr. Ambrose, who leads her to alternate and other-worldly methods of winning. Meanwhile, Bob is on a mission to figure out who is stealing his perfectly crafted pumpkins.

    Complete TV Listings


    Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 23)

    Saturday, January 21

    • Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show/Cosby) - Phylicia will be featured on Oprah: Where Are They Now? at 10pm ET/PT on OWN.
    Sunday, January 22
    • NeNe Leakes (The New Normal) - Catch NeNe on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
    Monday, January 23
    • Allison Janney (Mom/Mr. Sunshine) - Watch Allison on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
    • William Shatner ($h*! My Dad Says) and Henry Winkler (Happy Days/Arrested Development/Out of Practice) - William and Henry are guests on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
    • Kevin Nealon (Man with a Plan/Weeds/Hiller and Diller/Champs) - Kevin appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
    • Jade Catta-Preta (Manhattan Love Story) - Jade is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
    • Wendi McClendon-Covey (The Goldbergs/Rules of Engagement/Reno 911!) - Wendi stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
    • Cristela Alonzo (Cristela) - Cristela chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
    • Tika Sumpter (The Game) - Tika appears on The Real, so check your local listings.
    • Justina Machado (One Day at a Time) - Justina will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
    • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry and Rebecca Romjin talk about Love Locks on NBC's Today in the 9am hour. Jerry will also be on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT and on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
    • Retta (Parks and Recreation) - Retta talks about Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.