Review of "The Goodwin Games" on FOX From The TV MegaSite

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The Goodwin Games

"The Goodwin Games" review by Sundi
Airs Mondays 8:30/7:30 (ET/PT) on FOX

Summer television is upon us, so I am happy to see my DVR fill up with a little lighter fare. I started my summer watching schedule with Fox’s The Goodwin Games, airing on Monday nights. This show is a half-hour comedy focusing on the three children of an eccentric father that recently passed away. The father is pitting them against each other for his millions in an elaborate game that is part Jumanji, part National Treasure. The winning sibling will collect the twenty-three million dollar inheritance and the other two won’t get a cent. The father, Benjamin Goodwin, played by Beau Bridges, was an admittedly  lousy father and his scheme is meant to bring the children together. Chloe, played by Becki Newton, is an aspiring actress with wasted potential, Scott Foley, plays Henry, the high-wired arrogant overachiever that I think we are supposed to like, and Jimmy is played by TJ Miller as a dim-witted petty criminal with a precocious daughter and loveable charm. So far, so good, and while it is really hard to judge a show’s mettle from the pilot, I liked it well enough to watch a few more episodes; mostly in hopes that it will find its stride.


The premise is unique enough to keep me interested, but the relationships seems a little forced. It is hard to see the father as the antagonist as the children flashback to moments that are supposed to demonstrate his worst traits, but just seem to make him seem endearing. Also, the dynamic between the siblings swings between animosity and nostalgia. The humor persists, and the jokes are reliably funny, but it is unsettling when they turn from one emotional extreme to another. It is my humble opinion that they need to stay  at each others’ throats to sustain the humor, and that potential is going to keep me around for a few more episodes.


I am willing to overlook the clichés, such as Chloe as former, and repentant mean girl to the father’s lawyer, the idiot-brother bit Jimmy is saddled with and the neurotic big city doctor with a soft emotional core. If the writers can find a way to keep the balance between snark and sentimentality, then The Goodwin Games will find its niche. After all, the characters are likeable enough and it has its funny moments. Abstract and absurd humor is a way to this lady’s heart every time.

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