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

    Tuesday, July 23

    The Conners - "O Sister, Where Art Thou?" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    When Becky helps Harris keep a secret from Darlene, it opens up a can of worms that causes a rift between the two sisters. Jackie supports Peter with his Nordic history project, and Dan reunites with an old friend.

    American Housewife - "Insta-Friends" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    Katie feels left out and slightly jealous when Greg becomes fast friends with the newest member of the Westport Historical Guild. Meanwhile, Oliver fears Cooper is ditching him when he sees on social media that Cooper lied about his weekend plans.

    Modern Family - "Whanex?" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    While preparing a presentation for his students about their future goals, Cam (Eric Stonestreet) must also contend with a bully at the school and Jay (Ed O’Neil) is having a little technical trouble during his video conference. Meanwhile, the local mall is holding a photo shoot for its new ad campaign and Gloria tricks Phil and Joe into participating.

    black-ish - "Under the Influence" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    Jack is going through an experimental phase and getting himself into trouble, so Dre chaperones the twins’ school dance to keep an eye on him. Meanwhile, Junior fights with his girlfriend, Niecy, after she thinks he spends too much time taking care of Devante.

    Modern Family - "We Need to Talk About Lily" (ABC, 10:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    Phil may have conquered his biggest real estate challenge when he thinks he found Pepper his dream home. Meanwhile, in an attempt to connect with Lily, Mitch and Cam get invited to an exclusive event for her favorite vlogger.

    black-ish - "Each One, Teach One" (ABC, 10:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    Dre feels like he has made a difference with the diversity at Stevens & Lido as the head of the Urban Division, but when Junior tells him that Josh is his mentor, Dre flips out. Meanwhile, Jack and Diane show their friends a video of Bow dancing and now she’s become the hot mom.

    The Detour - "The Game Show" (TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
    The Parkers are contestants on a Japanese game show.

    Sydney to the Max - "Dancin' the Vida Loca" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
    When Sydney struggles with ballet, something her mom was great at, she starts to feel like she's losing touch of her mom.

    Sydney to the Max - "How Sydney Got Her Phone Back" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
    When a cell phone ban policy during school hours goes up for a vote, Sydney is sure that her dad, who's on the Parent School Committee, will vote against it.

    Complete TV Listings


    Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 22)

    Tuesday, July 23

    • Fred Armisen (Los Espookys/Forever) - Catch Fred on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
    • Tony Hale (Veep/Arrested Development) - Tony appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
    • Eva Longoria (Telenovela) - Eva stops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
    • Thomas Lennon (The Odd Couple/Sean Saves the World/Reno 911!) - Thomas visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
    • Charlie Hunnam (Undeclared) - Charlie is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
    • Rami Malek (The War at Home) - Rami appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
    • David Spade (Rules of Engagement/8 Simple Rules/Just Shoot Me!) - David drops by Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
    • Lisa Kudrow (Friends/The Comeback/Web Therapy) - Lisa is a guest on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
    • Kyle Richards (Down to Earth) - Kyle visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
    • Anthony Anderson (black-ish/Guys with Kids/All About the Andersons) - Anthony visits The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
    • Idris Elba (Turn Up Charlie) - Idris appears on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings. He also talks about Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
    • Jason Priestley (Call Me Fitz) - Jason talks about the Casteel Family Movie Series on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
    • Billy Eichner (Friends from College/Difficult People/Parks and Recreation) - Billy talks about The Lion King on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
    • David Spade (Rules of Engagement/8 Simple Rules/Just Shoot Me!) - David talks about Lights Out with David Spade on the BUILD Series at 2pm.


    New on DVD/Blu-ray (May/June/July)

    My Three Sons - The Third Season - Volume One Perfect Strangers - The Complete Seventh and Eighth Seasons The Brady Bunch - 50th Anniversary The Brady-est TV & Movie Collection Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season Two The Good Place - The Complete Third Season

    05/07 - Baskets - The Complete Season Three
    05/13 - I'm Dying Up Here - Season 2
    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 (WBShop.com)
    05/28 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-Second Season (Blu-ray)
    06/04 - The Brady Bunch - 50th Anniversary The Brady-est Brady Bunch TV & Movie Collection
    06/18 - Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season Two (Blu-ray)
    07/09 - Broad City - Season 5
    07/09 - Broad City - The Complete Series
    07/17 - The Practice (1976) - The Complete Series
    07/30 - The Good Place - The Complete Third Season
    More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


    Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

    07/23 - Stars from Fan-Favorite Series Reunite on It's a Wonderful Lifetime; HGTV's A Very Brady Contest
    07/22 - FXX Comedy Archer Gets 11th Season; TBS Sets Date for Comedy Game Show with The Good Place Star
    07/21 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of July 22, 2019)
    07/20 - SitcomsOnline Digest: New Tina Fey Sitcom Starring Ted Danson in the Works; A.P. Bio Gets a Reprieve
    07/19 - Fri-Yay: Beyond Friends and The Office: Other Great Sitcoms on Streaming Services; Mad About You Launches During Holiday 2019 Season
    07/18 - HBO Max Revives Gossip Girl; Mario Lopez Leaves Extra and Moves to Access Hollywood
    07/17 - The 71st Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations; Netflix Orders Sketch Comedy Series
    07/16 - Welcome Back (to School), Kotter Marathon on Antenna TV; Lea Michele Gets ABC Holiday Movie
    07/15 - Bounce Sitcom In The Cut Premieres Season 5; Conan Returns to Comic-Con for 5th Year
    07/14 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of July 15, 2019)
    07/13 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Reboot of The Flintstones in the Works (Again); Amazon Orders New Comedy Series
    07/12 - Fri-Yay: The End of Friends on Netflix; Remembering Rip Torn of The Larry Sanders Show and Disney Channel Star Cameron Boyce
    07/11 - Valerie Bertinelli to Host Food Network Series; Netflix Gets Katherine Heigl for Firefly Lane 07/10 - WarnerMedia Announces HBO Max for 2020 with Friends, Fresh Prince & More; IMDb Gets First Scripted Series
    07/09 - COZI TV Schedules Two The Office Stunts; Adult Swim Picks Up New Seasons of Animated Comedies
    07/08 - Comedy Central Closes Q2 Strong; Hallmark Channel June Weddings Stunt Scores in Ratings
    07/07 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of July 8, 2019)
    07/06 - SitcomsOnline Digest: WarnerMedia Considering Reboots of TGIF Classics for New Streaming Service
    07/05 - Fri-Yay: Netflix's One Day at a Time Revived By Pop TV; WarnerMedia OTT Gets Gremlins Series
    07/04 - 2019 4th of July Marathons on TV
    07/03 - ABC Fall 2019 Premiere Dates; Celebrate Seinfeld's 30th in NYC
    07/02 - Mindy Kaling Produced Comedy on Hulu; HBO's The Righteous Gemstones Premieres Aug. 18
    07/01 - Lil Rel Gets HBO Comedy Special; Loudermilk Season 3 Details
    06/30 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of July 1, 2019)
    06/29 - SitcomsOnline Digest: MyNetwork TV Releases Fall Lineup; 70s Danny Thomas Sitcom Coming to DVD
    06/28 - One Day at a Time Revived by Pop TV and CBS; WGN America Acquires JAG Starting July 4
    06/27 - Remembering Max Wright of ALF; The Office Reruns Move to NBCU Streaming in 2021
    06/26 - Comedy Central Gets Friday Talk Show; The Goldbergs Actress Releases Music Video
    06/25 - Fox Fall 2019 Premiere Dates; FX Sets Dates for Fall 2019 Schedule
    06/24 - Barney Miller Summer Fridays on Antenna TV; Tyler Perry Studios Takes Over BET with New Series
    06/23 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of June 24, 2019)