It’s that time of the year again, the time where an influx of hopeful TV shows premiere in the hopes of making an impact with audiences, and sticking around for the Fall season. If they’re lucky they may even stick around for the next several years, but more times than not, we only get a glimpse of a show before the network axes it. The Grinder is one of these new TV shows, which premiered on Fox tonight.
Despite it’s unfortunate name, The Grinder actually has some potential to make it out of the chopping block alive, and that’s mostly because of the age defying Rob Lowe. The show centers on Dean Sanderson (Rob Lowe), a Television star whose hit TV show The Grinder has just ended it’s eight year run. He played a great lawyer, the best lawyer, the lawyer who never settles, and when he gets back home, he believes that he could actually be doing this whole lawyer thing, and bring his character to life, and to his brother’s dismay, to the court house where his brother and father have their own version of The Grinder going on albeit more drab than fab.
Younger brother Stuart (Fred Savage) has always lived in his brother’s shadow, and even now as a lawyer, he seems destined for the background role. Despite the fact that Dean isn’t a real attorney, he’s familiar with legal jargon and knows how to work a crowd. Stewart, on the other hand is the type of person who writes notecards for everything, including giving his brother a piece of his mind, so you can imagine how he is in the courtroom trying to defend a client.
The show deals with that idea that audiences get after watching a movie, a TV show, or any type of entertainment; the idea that the people we see on screen or on stage are actually the characters they are playing. At one point of the show, Dean defends his knowledge of the law with presenting his brother with a scenario. Say you go into cardiac arrest in the middle of a restaurant, and two tables down is Noah Wyle. Wouldn’t you feel more comfortable with Noah Wyle at that table than an ordinary stranger? Dean’s got a point.
In the end, The Grinder is worth giving a look. Although I don’t know how many times we can see Dean barging into court without any credentials to defend real clients, the show looks like a friendly, family comedy that’ll fill your Tuesday night up nicely. The chemistry between the two brothers is also fun to watch, and as these stories tend to go, each will probably make the other better throughout the coming episodes. It’ll also be interesting and fun to see Rob Lowe play two characters: The TV persona that has been ingrained on him and the man who is learning how to be just that: an ordinary man. If you were of fan of his work on Parks & Rec, you’ll love him playing the Grinder.