Monday, September 28, 2015

Fox Fall Pilot Review: Grandfathered - Premieres Tuesday, Sept. 29; getTV Adds More Westerns

Grandfathered

Grandfathered - Tuesdays at 8:00PM ET/PT on Fox
Premieres Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at 8:00PM ET/PT


by Vincent

John Stamos stars in a new comedy about the ultimate bachelor who discovers he's not only a father, but a grandfather. Successful restaurateur Jimmy Marino (Stamos) is used to being the most suave, most handsome and most single person in the room. All that changes with the surprise appearance of Jimmy's adult son, Gerald (Josh Peck) and his baby daughter, Edie.

Cast Details:

John Stamos as Jimmy
Josh Peck as Gerald
Paget Brewster as Sara
Kelly Jenrette as Annelise
Ravi Patel as Ken
Christina Milian as Vanessa

John Stamos (Jimmy) is a well-known television star. He is best known for his role as Uncle Jesse on the long-running family sitcom Full House. He has also appeared on shows such as General Hospital, Glee, ER, Jake in Progress and Friends.

Josh Peck (Gerald) is a television and film actor. He is best known for his roles on the popular Nickelodeon comedies The Amanda Show and Drake & Josh. He has also appeared in films such as Snow Day, Red Dawn, and Bukowski.

Paget Brewster (Sara) is a television actress with a long list of credits. She is best known for starring roles on Criminal Minds and Community. She has appeared on shows such as Friends, King of the Hill, Law & Order: SVU, and Modern Family. Recently, she had a starring role on the Comedy Central series Another Period.

Kelly Jenrette (Annelise) is an actress whose credits include a starring role on Frisky Dingo and guest appearances on Happy Endings and Haunted Hathaways.

Ravi Patel (Ken) is an actor whose work includes appearances on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Scrubs.

Christina Millian (Vanessa) is an actress and recording artist. She has released three albums, which spawned hit singles such as "Dip it Low" and "Us Against the World." Her acting work includes roles in films such as American Pie, Love Don't Cost a Thing, and Ghost of Girlfriends Past, as well as television shows such as Christina Milian: Turned Up, Charmed, CSI, and Smallville.

Pilot Plot:

"Pilot" (Airs September 29 at 8:00PM ET)

Jimmy Martino is used to being the most suave, most handsome and most single person in the room. But everything changes with the surprise appearance of Jimmy's adult son, Gerald and his baby daughter, Edie. Now Jimmy has to unlearn a lifetime of blissful selfishness and grapple with the fact that he went straight from single to grandfather in six seconds flat.

Analysis:

My expectations for Grandfathered were, admittedly, fairly low. Despite my love for Paget Brewster, it seemed like a show that was deliberately trying to cash in on nostalgia for the time period in which John Stamos was actually a bankable television star, and the premise (a bachelor's life is flipped upside down when it turns out he has a FAMILY!) is one of the most unoriginal concepts for a sitcom I've seen in quite a while (and this fall is full of unoriginal concepts for sitcoms). Initially, it reminded me a lot of the kind of comedies NBC has been trying to push for the past several years Рblind attempts to capture a "broad" audience by rolling out clich̩ plotlines, uncomplicated characters, and big names that remind us of a time when network television didn't seem like it was getting a little bit less relevant every year. And yet, Grandfathered kind of surprised me. This isn't a great pilot, and the fact that Fox isn't previewing any episodes beyond it is a bit concerning (typically networks will send out the first 2 or 3 episodes for review). And yet, it's not terrible! It's surprisingly slick-looking, it has some well-crafted jokes, and it has a diverse and talented cast that's already showing some chemistry. It also beats its already unappealing premise into the ground, features little actual conflict, and struggles to define its characters outside of their base qualities. But, hey, that's a lot more going for it than I was expecting.

Of course, pilots are always shaky, and the big question (particularly with sitcom pilots) is not how good the pilot itself is, but if there's any suggestion that a good show could possibly come from it. The truth is that Grandfathered has a lot to overcome before I would feel comfortable labeling it a "good show." As I stated before, the premise remains unlikable, and the"“can this guy REALLY be a grandfather?!" concept is repeated ad nauseam through-out the half-hour. What's even stranger is the way the show fails to milk any interesting conflict out of this premise. Sure, the show is constantly asking us if Jimmy has what it takes to be a grandfather, but it weirdly doesn't really give us a lot of examples of why Jimmy wouldn't be a good grandfather. Compared to most sitcom characters that get a "redemption arc," Jimmy seems like a reasonably okay guy, and by the end of the pilot, it seems like he's probably going to be able to figure this out. The show is going to have to reach beyond the rather shallow question of whether or not Jimmy can be a grandfather and start digging deeper into its characters beyond their surface levels if it wants to become more than a "John Stamos and nostalgia" vehicle. Does it have any interest in being more than that? Who knows! But it's probably in its best interest, given the way most "nostalgia vehicles with a throwback star" sitcoms have panned out recently.

Conclusion:

Grandfathered has a lot of problems, but it also has a few key things going for it – generally good and funny writing, a talented cast (especially Paget Brewster, who is as delightful as always), and surprisingly slick production values. It also has some pretty glaring faults, including an unoriginal premise and a severe lack of depth. Still, there's enough here to suggest that it could be more than the lazy, nostalgia-based Stamos vehicle it looked like it was going to be, and that's enough to at least hope it'll get the chance to figure things out and become the quality show it has the potential to be.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 3.5/5
Funniness: 3/5
Overall: 3/5

Discuss the show after you watch it on Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at 8:00PM ET/PT on our message board.

Related Links:

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

    Preview:





  • Laredo - getTV

    getTV expands its all-new "Saturday Showdown" weekend block of classic Western television series, introducing three more lost favorites to the lineup starting at High Noon on Saturday, October 3. The new additions, which were licensed from NBCUniversal, include Barry Sullivan and Clu Gulager in The Tall Man, airing each Saturday at 12 pm ET, followed by Audie Murphy in Whispering Smith at 12:40 pm ET; and Neville Brand, Peter Brown, William Smith, and Philip Carey in back-to-back episodes of Laredo at 2 pm ET and 3:15 pm ET. The "Saturday Showdown" block, which originally premiered on Sept. 12, also features Robert Horton in A Man Called Shenandoah at 1:20 pm ET; Ralph Taeger in Hondo at 4:30 pm ET; and James Garner and Margot Kidder in Nichols, at 5:45 pm ET, as we mentioned.


    Sitcoms Airing Tonight

    Thursday, May 23

    The Big Bang Theory - "" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)

    Young Sheldon - "" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)

    Mom - "Go-Go Boots and a Butt Cushion" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    When Christy decides she doesn’t need Gambler’s Anonymous anymore, Bonnie vehemently disagrees.

    Life in Pieces - "Recovery Discipline Psycho Labor" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
    After John befriends the janitor at Sophia’s school, Mr. Sissel (Biff Wiff), John learns that Sophia and her friends believe a childish rumor about him. Also, Heather pushes Tim and Joan to go for walks together while recovering from their health issues; Matt and Colleen try to tame Dougie’s (Fortune Feimster) bad habits; and Jen is desperate to not go into labor during Lark’s birthday party.

    Complete TV Listings


    Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 20)

    Thursday, May 23

    • Jason Sudeikis (Son of Zorn/The Cleveland Show) - Catch Jason on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
    • Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother/Free Spirit) - Alyson appears on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
    • Jason Mantzoukas (The League) - Jason is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
    • Billie Lourd (Scream Queens) - Billie visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
    • Allison Williams (Girls) - Allison stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo. She also talks about The Perfection on The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT, on ABC's Strahan & Sara at 1pm and on the BUILD Series at 3pm.
    • William Shatner ($h*! My Dad Says) - William appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
    • Jamie Foxx (The Jamie Foxx Show) - Jamie is a guest on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
    • Kunal Nayyar (The Big Bang Theory) - Kunal drops by The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
    • Tom Hanks (Bosom Buddies) - Tom talks about the Hidden Heroes Campaign on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
    • DeWanda Wise (She's Gotta Have It) - DeWanda talks about She's Gotta Have It on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
    • Logan Browning (Dear White People/Meet the Browns) - Logan talks about The Perfection on the BUILD Series at 3pm.


    New on DVD/Blu-ray (March/April/May)

    Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Second Season Alice - The Complete Ninth Season The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fifth Season Evening Shade - The Complete Collection Perfect Strangers - The Complete Seventh and Eighth Seasons

    03/05 - Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Second Season (WBShop.com)
    03/12 - Alice - The Complete Ninth Season (WBShop.com)
    03/26 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
    04/02 - Archer: Danger Island - The Complete Season Nine
    04/09 - You're the Worst - The Complete Fifth Season
    04/12 - Evening Shade - The Complete Collection
    04/16 - The Big C - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
    05/07 - Baskets - The Complete Season Three
    05/13 - My Three Sons - The Third Season - Volume One
    05/13 - My Three Sons - The Third Season - Volume Two
    05/14 - The Donna Reed Show - Seasons 1-5
    05/14 - Petticoat Junction - Seasons 1-3
    05/28 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Seventh and Eighth Seasons
    05/28 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-Second Season (Blu-ray)
    More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


    Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

    05/23 - Orange Is the New Black Returns for Final Season in July; Lifetime Gets More Book to Screen Movies This Summer
    05/22 - Los Espookys Premieres June 14 on HBO; NBC's 5th Annual Red Nose Day Special Brings Out the Stars
    05/21 - Nightline Primetime Special Profiles All in the Family & The Jeffersons; Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader Premieres June 10 on Nick
    05/20 - Comedy Central Heads to the South Side This July; Catch the Big Bang Finale Again Tonight
    05/19 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of May 20, 2019)
    05/18 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Broadcast Network Fall Lineup at a Glance; Rick & Morty Returns in November
    05/17 - Fri-Yay: Big Bang Ends With No Hype?; ABC to Air Farrah Fawcett Documentary
    05/16 - The CW Upfront 2019-20: Fall 2019 Schedule; Notes from TBS and TNT Upfront
    05/15 - CBS Upfront 2019-20: Fall 2019 Schedule; Remembering Doris Day and Tim Conway
    05/14 - ABC Upfront 2019-20: Fall 2019 Schedule; Disney Channel Sets Premiere Dates for Raven's Home and Bunk'd
    05/13 - Fox Upfront 2019-20: Fall 2019 Schedule; Antenna TV's Father Knows Best Father's Day Marathon
    05/12 - NBC Upfront 2019-20: Fall 2019 Schedule; Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of May 13, 2019)
    05/11 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Looking at Sitcom Cancellations Ahead of Upfronts; Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Returning for Interactive Special
    05/10 - Fri-Yay: Upfronts 2019: Questions for Sitcoms; getTV Celebrates All in the Family Ahead of ABC Live Special
    05/09 - More Pre-Upfront Pick Ups from NBC, ABC and The CW; Fox Schedules BH90210
    05/08 - NBC Picks Up 2 Series Before Upfront; FX Gets 2nd Season of What We Do in the Shadows
    05/07 - AXS TV's The Very VERY Best of the 70s; Who Do You Think You Are? Returns to NBC with More Celebs
    05/06 - Kevin Hart Bounce Series Debuts Tonight; Set Sail with Kimmy Schmidt
    05/05 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of May 6, 2019)
    05/04 - Pluto TV Adds Special Versions of Popular Viacom Channels; Perfect Strangers to Finish on DVD
    05/03 - Fri-Yay: Ramy Gets 2nd Season on Hulu; ABC Orders black-ish and Spinoff mixed-ish for 2019-20
    05/02 - Hulu 2019 Upfront; Suits and Spinoff to Air Back-to-Back
    05/01 - Fox Gets Unique Fred Savage Series; BH90210 Gets Shannen Doherty for Revival
    04/30 - CBS Announces Big Bang Special on Finale Night; Showtime Gets 2nd Season of Black Monday with Don Cheadle
    04/29 - Disney Channel's Just Roll With It Premieres in June; Alyssa Milano Launches Podcast
    04/28 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of April 29, 2019)
    04/27 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Santa Clarita Diet and Wrecked Both Cancelled; Remembering Dallas Actor Ken Kercheval
    04/26 - Fri-Yay: Status of Sitcoms on Disney+; Gabriel Iglesias Sitcom Launches June 21 on Netflix
    04/25 - Lifetime's Book to Screen Titles in June; The CW Renews Four More for 2019-20
    04/24 - MeTV Network Brings Back The Dick Van Dyke Show; The Detour Returns for Season 4 in June
    04/23 - Antenna TV's Hazel Mother's Day Marathon; Netflix Celebrates Laugh-In's 50th Anniversary