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 – blind attempts to capture a "broad" audience by rolling out clichĂ© 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

    Monday, April 19

    The Neighborhood - "Welcome to the Hero" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
    Dave earns Calvin’s respect when he thwarts a robbery at the barbershop, until the recognition goes to his head and he starts exaggerating the truth. Also, Marty invites an anxious Gemma to give his new stress-busting hobby a try.

    Bob Hearts Abishola - "A Tough Old Bird" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
    Bob and Abishola try to help a sad and volatile Kemi who, after being dumped by Chukwuemeka, struggles with the possibility that her happiest days might be behind her.

    Breeders - "No Choice" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
    Ally is under huge pressure, but no one seems to want to listen to her; Jim and Jackie are excited about a possible move to the coast and, much to Paul's surprise, so is he.

    Complete TV Listings


    Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 19)

    Monday, April 19

    • Michael Strahan (Brothers) - Watch Michael on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
    • Tig Notaro (One Mississippi) - Tig appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
    • Ron Funches (Hoops/Final Space/Powerless/Undateable) - Ron is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
    • Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) - Nick will be on A Little Late with Lilly Singh at 1:35am on NBC.
    • Ted Danson (Mr. Mayor/The Good Place/Help Me Help You/Becker/Cheers) - Ted appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
    • Debi Mazar (Younger/Entourage/Working) - Debi talks about the final season of Younger on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
    • Olivia Holt (I Didn't Do It/Kickin' It) - Olivia will be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
    • Michelle Buteau (First Wives Club) - Michelle appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
    • Kenan Thompson (Kenan/Kenan & Kel) - Kenan is a guest on The Real, so check your local listings.
    • John Stamos (Fuller House/Grandfathered/Jake in Progress/Full House/You Again?) - John will be on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
    • Cristin Milioti (Made for Love/A to Z/How I Met Your Mother) - Cristin appears on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
    • Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine/Are We There Yet?/Everybody Hates Chris) - Terry and his wife Rebecca discuss their memoir detailing secrets of their marriage, Stronger Together, on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
    • Danica McKellar (The Wonder Years) - Danica discusses her new Hallmark Channel movie Matchmaker Mysteries: The Art of the Kill on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 11am ET/PT.
    • Ed Helms (Rutherford Falls/The Office) - Ed talks about Peacock's Rutherford Falls on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.


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

    Corporate - Season 2 Fam - The Complete Series Betty White's Pet Set - The Complete Series Happy Together - The Complete Series Til Death - The Complete Series

    01/22 - Corporate - Season 2
    01/22 - Corporate - Season 3
    02/02 - Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In - The Complete Series (2021 Retail Release)
    02/16 - Fam - The Complete Series
    02/23 - Betty White's Pet Set - The Complete Series
    03/02 - Blue Mountain State - The Complete Series
    03/02 - Happy Together - The Complete Series
    03/02 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-4 (DVD) (Blu-ray)
    04/20 - 'Til Death - The Complete Series

    More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


    Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

    04/18 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of April 19, 2021)
    04/17 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Will Sasso Joins HBO Max Sitcom Pilot; Home Economics Off to Solid Start
    04/16 - Fri-Yay: Home Economics Is a Solid Addition to ABC’s Comedy Block; Mr Inbetween Season 3 Premiere Date Set
    04/15 - Aidy Bryant Comedy Shrill's Final Season; ABC's Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days
    04/14 - Superstore Star Lauren Ash Signs Development Deal with NBCUniversal; Jenna Dewan Joins New CBS Dance Series
    04/13 - NBC Schedules Peyton Manning Game Show; Apple TV+ Comedy Mythic Quest Returns in May
    04/12 - The Price Is Right at Night Welcomes Two Funny Celebs; Peacock Comedy Girls5eva Premieres May 6
    04/11 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of April 12, 2021)
    04/10 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Nash Bridges Reprisal in the Works?; Season Finale Dates Set for Last Man Standing and MacGyver
    04/09 - Fri-Yay: Fox Cancels Bless the Harts, Leaving Questions About Animated Block; Variety and Lifetime Presents Power of Women Comedians
    04/08 - ABC Summer 2021 Schedule; Fox Summer 2021 Schedule
    04/07 - MeTV Spring 2021 with The Addams Family and The Pink Panther; Fox Orders More Duncanville, While ABC Goes Into the Wild with Comedy
    04/06 - HBO Max Announces Minx, Set in the 1970s; Remembering Gloria Henry of Dennis the Menace
    04/05 - Head of the Class Reboot Cast and Info; Tia Mowry Expands with New Cookbook
    04/04 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of April 5, 2021)
    04/03 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Head of the Class Reboot Ordered at HBO Max; Friends Reunion Special Finally Happening
    04/02 - Fri-Yay: Remembering Jessica Walter's Excellent Career; Fox's Let's Be Real Special Turns Into Series
    04/01 - CSI Revived by CBS for Sequel Series in 2021-22 Season; NBC Orders Ordinary Joe for Next Season
    03/31 - CBS Renews Young Sheldon for 3 More Seasons; DWTS Returns for Season 30 This Fall
    03/30 - Amazon Starts Production on Being the Ricardos, An I Love Lucy Movie; NBC Schedules Lil Rel Game Show
    03/29 - Antenna TV Spring 2021 Schedule; Eric Stonestreet to Host Fox Series
    03/28 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of March 29, 2021)
    03/27 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Don Cheadle to Narrate Wonder Years Reboot; Sharon Osbourne Out at The Talk
    03/26 - Fri-Yay: Superstore Series Finale; Remembering Jessica Walter of Arrested Development and Richard Gilliland of Designing Women
    03/25 - New Weekly Celebrity Sleepover Talk Show After SNL; Raven-Symoné Heads to HGTV Series
    03/24 - Remembering George Segal, Pops from The Goldbergs; HBO Max Comedy Series Made for Love Drops April 1
    03/23 - Mr. Mayor Returning for Season 2; CBS 2020-21 Season Finale Dates
    03/22 - NBC Puts Meghan Trainor Comedy in Development; Apple TV+ Straight to Series Comedy with Maya Rudolph
    03/21 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of March 22, 2021)
    03/20 - SitcomsOnline Digest: James Burrows to Direct Pilot for ABC Comedy Starring Alec Baldwin and Kelsey Grammer; Carl Reiner's Archives Find a Home
    03/19 - Fri-Yay: Evaluating the 2020-2021 Freshman Sitcom Class; Damon Wayans Jr. to Star in TBS Pilot Kill the Orange-Faced Bear
    03/18 - Younger Final Season Premiere Date Announced; Mindy Kaling, Henry Winkler Join Monsters, Inc. Disney+ Series