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

    Thursday, January 27

    Young Sheldon - "A Lot of Band-Aids and the Cooper Surrender" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
    Sheldon makes friends with his dorm neighbors. Also, George Sr. learns his job is in jeopardy.

    United States of Al - "Hunt / Shikar" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
    Riley, upset that Freddy taught Hazel how to ride a bike while he was deployed, attempts to teach her something new to make up for it. Also, Ariana invites Al to a fundraiser involving spin bikes, where he becomes competitive with Ariana’s handsome cycling instructor, and Art introduces Lois to his favorite secret pastime.

    B Positive - "Dagobah, a Room and a Chimney Sweep" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
    A therapist and newly divorced dad is looking for a kidney donor when he runs into a rough-around-the-edges woman from his past who offers her own kidney.

    B Positive - "A Boss, a Bear Claw and a Defibrillator" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
    A therapist and newly divorced dad is looking for a kidney donor when he runs into a rough-around-the-edges woman from his past who offers her own kidney.

    Call Me Kat - "Call Me Forty" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
    Oscar attempts multiple surprises to celebrate Kat's 40th birthday, including meeting his mother; Max tries to figure out why he continually strikes out with women.

    Pivoting - "Hell on Wheels" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
    Sarah dips her toes into the dating pool and enlists Amy and Jodie's help in vetting a woman whom she ran across on a dating app; Amy's maternal instincts are tested when she learns Luke isn't fitting in with other kids.

    grown-ish - "It Was Good Until It Wasn't" (Freeform, 10:00PM ET/PT)
    The gang copes with the fallout of the explosive events that took place at the luau; Aaron deals with the accountability of his actions at the party; Zoey turns to Pops and Ruby for advice; Ana and Vivek keep a secret under wraps.

    Single Drunk Female - "I'm Sorry, But…" (Freeform, 10:30PM ET/PT)
    Sam tries to win over Brit by making an amends at her birthday party. Unfortunately, Sam wasn't invited, and neglects Felicia. Meanwhile, when Sam's probation officer stops by, Carol struggles to explain Sam's "situation" to her friends.

    Complete TV Listings


    Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 24)

    Thursday, January 27

    • Kevin James (The Crew/Kevin Can Wait/The King of Queens) - Catch Kevin on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
    • Ilana Glazer (The Afterparty/Broad City) - Ilana appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
    • Oliver Hudson (Splitting Up Together/Rules of Engagement/My Guide to Becoming a Rock Star) - Oliver and his sister Kate are guests on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
    • Kenan Thompson (Kenan/Kenan & Kel) - Kean will be on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
    • David Cross (Arrested Development/Running Wilde/Oliver Beene) - David appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
    • Cynthia Nixon (And Just Like That.../Sex and the City) - Cynthia is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 10:30pm on Bravo.
    • Tom Selleck (The Closer) - Tom talks about Blue Bloods on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
    • Sherri Shepherd (Mr. Iglesias/Trial & Error/Sherri/Less Than Perfect) - Sherri guest hosts The Wendy Williams Show.
    • Yvette Nicole Brown (The Mayor/The Odd Couple/Community) - Yvette appears on The Real, so check your local listings.
    • Julie Bowen (Modern Family) - Julie is a guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
    • Valerie Bertinelli (Hot in Cleveland/CafĂ© Americain/Sydney/One Day at a Time) - Valerie is talking all about her new memoir and cooking up her mom’s upside-down cake on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
    • Ana Gasteyer (American Auto/People of Earth/Subutagory) - Ana talks about American Auto on Access Daily, so check your local listings.
    • Stanley Tucci (Central Park) - Stanley talks about AMC's La Fortuna on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
    • Halle Berry (Living Dolls) - Halle talks about Moonfall on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
    • Trevor Jackson (grown-ish) - Trevor talks about grown-ish on ABC's GMA 3: What You Need to Know at 1pm.


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

    Maude - The Complete Series (2021 Release) Mom - The Eighth and Final Season Punky Brewster (1984-88) - The Complete Series (2021 Release) I Dream of Jeannie - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

    10/19 - Maude - The Complete Series (2021 Release)
    11/02 - The Honeymooners Specials - A Christmas Carol
    11/02 - Mom - The Eighth and Final Season
    11/02 - Punky Brewster - The Complete Series (2021 Release)
    11/02 - Sex and the City - The Complete Collection (Blu-ray)
    11/09 - Saved by the Bell (2020) - Season One
    11/09 - Younger - The Complete Series
    11/16 - Kevin Can F*** Himself - Season 1 (Blu-ray)
    11/23 - Dead Pixels - Seasons One and Two
    11/30 - I Dream of Jeannie - The Complete Series (Mill Creek) (2021 Release) (Blu-ray)
    12/07 - The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
    12/07 - Rick & Morty - Season 5 (Blu-ray) (Blu-ray Limited Edition Steelbook)
    12/14 - The Abbott and Costello Show - Season 1 (Blu-ray)
    12/14 - Letterkenny - Season 9
    01/04 - Work in Progress - Season 2
    More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


    Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

    01/27 - Antenna TV's Love Is In (Over) the Air Valentine's Day Marathon; Fox's Spring 2022 Midseason Lineup
    01/26 - HBO's The Righteous Gemstones Renewed for Season 3; To Tell the Truth Returns Feb. 22 on ABC
    01/25 - CBS Brings Back Ghosts and Monday Comedy Duo for 2022-23; Netflix Orders Comedy with Michelle Buteau
    01/24 - Remembering Comedian Louie Anderson; Central Park Returns March 4 on Apple TV+
    01/23 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of January 24, 2022)
    01/22 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Fox Going All in on Monday Night Animated Comedies (in May 2023); CBS Cancels Bull After Six Seasons
    01/21 - One Tree Hill Reunion on New CBS Series; Bel-Air Announces Recurring Cast, Including Karrueche Tran & Duane Martin
    01/20 - REELZ Announces I Love Lucy, Gilligan's Island Unknown Story Specials; The Proud Family Revival Premieres Feb. 23 on Disney+
    01/19 - South Park Season 25 Premieres Feb. 2; Netflix Orders Animated Comedy Procedural
    01/18 - Tim Allen to Star in The Santa Clause TV Series; Lifetime Reunites with Jenna Dewan
    01/17 - Celebrating Betty White: America's Golden Girl Airs Jan. 31 on NBC; Netflix Premieres Murderville on Feb. 3
    01/16 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of January 17, 2022)
    01/15 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Quantum Leap and Life Goes On Reboots in the Works at NBC; Weekend of Tributes for Betty White and Bob Saget
    01/14 - Fri-Yay: Cobra Kai Continues to Be a Delight; Fox Announces Premiere Date for Welcome to Flatch, Hulu to Release First 7 Episodes on Same Day
    01/13 - MeTV Acquires Full House, Launches with Bob Saget Tribute; Dickinson Gets Documentary Retrospective
    01/12 - TCA Winter 2022 Press Tour: ABC; Hulu Orders More of The Great
    01/11 - Hulu Orders Reboot, Sitcom About a Sitcom Being Rebooted; Emily in Paris Renewed for Season 3...and Season 4!
    01/10 - Remembering Bob Saget of Full House and Dwayne Hickman of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis; Betty White's 100th Birthday Tribute on BUZZR & GSN
    01/09 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of January 10, 2022)
    01/08 - SitcomsOnline Digest: CBS Reboot of The Honeymooners in the Works; Remembering Marilyn Bergman
    01/07 - Fri-Yay: ABC's Abbott Elementary Is a Solid and Promising New Sitcom; Fast Foodies Brings More Comedic Guests for Season 2
    01/06 - More Betty White Tributes Scheduled; Growing Belushi Returns Jan. 19 for New Season, Includes Guest Appearance by According to Jim Co-Star
    01/05 - Peacock Unveils Wolf Like Me; Freeform's New Comedy Single Drunk Female
    01/04 - USA Network Acquires 9-1-1; Space Force Season 2 Drops Feb. 18 on Netflix
    01/03 - Fri-Yay: Networks Have a Few Promising Comedies for 2022; Betty White Tribute Marathons on CMT, MeTV, TV Land, Decades, Hallmark, etc.
    01/02 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of January 3, 2022)>
    01/01 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Remembering Betty White; Lost in Space a Hit for Netflix
    12/31 - In Memoriam: Remembering TV Legend Betty White and the Other Sitcom Stars We Lost in 2021
    12/30 - New Year's Eve 2021 and New Year's Day 2022 TV Marathons
    12/29 - Celebrate the End of 2021 with Snoop Dogg & Kevin Hart; UPtv's Binge Week Continues with Reba, Gilmore Girls
    12/28 - HBO Max Announces January Slate; New Campaign for 2022 Includes Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin and The Flight Attendant Season 2
    12/27 - Atlanta Returns for Third Season on March 24 on FX After 3 Year Break; Bridgerton Returns for Second Season on March 25 on Netflix