Sunday, 4 October 2015

TV Check-Up: Pilot Check: Grandfathered (2015)


© FOX | Source: manouvellemode.com
After one episode there is hardly a final verdict to be made about the fate and potential of a TV show, nonetheless there are observations to be made. The very same I am about to do to one of FOX’s new comedies, Grandfathered. This 22-minute Tuesday-night-delight was largely promoted through its leading man John Stamos. In a plot that should be hitting a little bit too close to home for the aging former Full House heartthrob, the show centers on Jimmy Martino, a fifty-year-old confirmed bachelor. A successful restaurant owner and ladies’ man, his world is turned upside down when he discovers that he is not only a father but also a grandfather.


This is pretty much all that happens in the premiere, since 22 minutes don’t leave a whole lot of room for multiple plotlines. But wait, there is a few more things to be said. Let’s start with Jimmy Martino, who seemingly is the ruthless ladies man and doesn’t care about anything but his own vanity (when
© FOX | Source: www.sorozatjunkie.hu

we first meet him he takes great care and pleasure out of plucking a single gray hair from his perfectly coiffed black mane). Despite these characteristics he is incredibly ambitious and professional when it comes to his restaurant and cares a great deal for his co-workers. Slight variation to the unreachable bachelor type or match to a tee? Then there’s also the fact that Jimmy’s newfound son Gerald is an unemployed and awkward-with-the-girls guy in prime dating age. And Edie, his granddaughter, only came to be because Vanessa (played by Christina Milian), Gerald’s hot co-worker, offered him sympathy (pity) sex… Ouch! Way to rub in the “can-this-really-be-my-son” subtext. Then of course this offers a wide field in which emotionally stunted Jimmy Mariano can actually share some wisdom. Can you say much older wing man with interest in the same girls (and also, am I the only one who finds this slightly creepy?)? To dramatize things in a super clichéd Hollywood move, the previously unknown son came
© FOX | Source: www.sorozatjunkie.hu
to be from the one and only relationship Jimmy had with the one that got away 25 years ago, and not from a random hook-up with a now aged drug addict – poorly executed boob job included (as might have happened with Jimmy running through women, the way he does). And as it happens Sara Kingsley (Paget Brewster) is just as good looking as ever. That she happens to be a successful psychologist is not only an added bonus, but an ironic spin on Jimmy’s status in life.

What the show definitely has going for itself is the potential of its cast. John Stamos basically plays himself and brings the charm and cheese to the table while still being able to take a joke. He also still has the Uncle Jesse of it all down to a tee and looks adorable acting with a small child. Josh Peck as Gerald is back in his prime role of geeky and awkward mama’s-boy, he played on Drake and Josh,
© FOX | Source: emertainmentmonthly.com

only now all grown up. As ever this adds a dose of lovable innocence and the potential for physical comedy to the mix. Paget Brewster (Yaay!) portrays Sara Kingsley, the one that got away, and, seriously, who wouldn’t kick himself once or twice for letting that one go?! She is able to play both drama and comedy up there with the best of them and while she could easily pull of the naively-stupid comedy with her looks, her type of humor is dry and classy, not arrogant. Brewster’s way of displaying empathy in every situation will make it interesting to see her portray a mother on this show. Kelly Jenrette as Jimmy’s personal assistant, Annelise, who is immune to his charms (but only because she’s a lesbian…? Come on!) so far seems to be able to hold her presence opposite Stamos and has some witty comebacks for him. Ravi Patel also stars as Ravi, the chef in Jimmy’s restaurant, but so far there is not much to be said about his character or performance.
© FOX | Source: www.tvinsider.com

Grandfathered’s pilot has its ups and downs. The plot and characters are hardly anything new and doused in cliché, and the interactions are slightly stiff in a lot of situations. Yet, I genuinely laughed a good few times and, once you stop nagging at every cliché (after all, why have these things become clichéd? Because deep down we do enjoy them) a lightness overtakes you. After all, this is no university thesis, but relaxed entertainment after a long day. So I’d give the show a fair chance for a few more episodes. The characters might loosen up with each other and unveil some great comedic chemistry. And maybe, maybe (read: most definitely) there'll be some fun Full House guests to look forward to. So there's room for improvement and, after all, a brilliant pilot doesn’t guarantee a brilliant show.

No comments:

Post a Comment