Review of "Grinder" on FOX From The TV MegaSite

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The cast of Grinder

"Grinder" review by Suzanne 9/9/15
Premieres Tuesday, 8:30/7:30c September 29 on FOX

I previewed this show on the FOX press site. I really wanted to like it because I love Rob Lowe and William Devane. However, it's just not very funny at all. The characters are just silly and dumb. They don't act like real people. It's a farce, but it's not funny enough to make up for the silliness.

Fred Savage plays a small-town lawyer, Stewart, whose brother, Dean, is a famous actor. Dean played a lawyer on a long-running series that got canceled. Now that Dean is unemployed, he starts interfering in Stewart's real-life cases and acting like he's a lawyer. William DeVane plays their father in a small role.  Stewart's wife and kids support him, especially when he gets frustrated by Dean, but he also wants to keep the peace in the family. Dean plays on his sympathy and makes Stewart feel sorry for him.

I wouldn't mind the show if only it were funny. It's not, though. Too bad. I would skip this one.

Rob Lowe is also executive producer of the show. Below is the note that he sent out to the press. This note is funnier than the whole show!

Dear press member,

Hello! My name is Rob Lowe, and I am an actor. I have appeared in numerous movies and television projects, both dramatic and comedic. I have worked with many big stars, including Martin Sheen, Matt Damon, Michael Douglas and Chris Pratt when he was fat. It is my profound honor to introduce you to my latest project, THE GRINDER, a new comedy premiering Tuesday, Sept. 29 (8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX, which is now available for review on the FOX SCREENING ROOM.

I play The Grinder, DEAN SANDERSON, a beloved TV star just finishing eight years on a legal drama of the same name. Now, in an existential crisis, he returns to his family in Boise, ID, to ponder his future, much to the chagrin of his younger brother, STEWART, played by beloved child actor Fred Savage (to be clear, Fred is NOT playing a child actor; that would be weird and he's a lot taller now). 

Wanting deeper and more authentic relationships in his life, Dean is inspired by Stewart’s family. His wife, DEBBIE, is played by Mary Elizabeth Ellis from “It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia.” Although I've never heard of that show, my kids tell me it's AWESOME!

Dean decides that despite having no law degree (or high school diploma), he should join Stewart and their dad, DEAN SR. (William Devane, the second best JFK ever), in the family law firm. Dean’s a great character to play; larger than life, a generous and enthusiastic spirit, warm and loving, as well as utterly self-involved, oblivious to almost everything and painfully overly-dramatic. He is sometimes prone to bouts of pretension. But like the show itself, there is a guileless sweetness to his madness. And through the slightly insane, but enthusiastically loving, POV of the reformed Hollywood superstar, our show will deal with broad themes, like sibling rivalries in adulthood, marriage, child-raising, office intrigue and dating, as we offer sly, subtle commentary about today's culture of fame.

We are all really proud of our show. We feel that it is a world you've never seen on TV, with really strong characters and the perfect actors to play them. And it actually IS “laugh out loud” funny…I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I think this one might be even better than “Dr. Vegas.”  We hope you'll feel the same way. 

"Let's grind!"

Rob Lowe

Executive Producer 

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