Howdy ladies and gents, and welcome to post #21 on What I’m Currently Watching where I give you a tiny update on what TV-based stuff I’m watching and give mini reviews/impressions on them. Last week I was having a crazy binge session with The Grinder and I thought I’d make that the focus and talk about this crazy show. With that out of the way let’s crack on!
The Grinder is one of the final shows from IGN’s 2015 Fall TV Preview that I’ve yet to watch but since I needed something comedic and shorter than the 44 minutes I decided to start this show and from the first episode I was hooked. For those uninformed the premise involves Dean Sanderson, an actor who played the lawyer Mitch Grinder on the long-running hit show, The Grinder. However once the show ends Dean finds himself struggling to know what to do with himself next, so he eventually decides to move in with his brother, who an actual lawyer and use his TV knowledge and apply it in real life situations. And so the main concept of the show is seeing Dean try to use his “knowledge” of the law in real life and how it doesn’t always work to the great frustration of his brother who just wants things done the proper way and keeps getting disrupted.
What I love about this show is the humour, it’s self-awareness and it’s ridiculous. There are things that should work in real life or make any sense (especially when it comes to The Grinder TV show), but writers and actors find a way to make it work. Since when could an actor who played a lawyer become an actual lawyer without any proper education or training? Well this show answers that question and them some. So the show follows the day-to-day happenings of Dean and how his actions effect not only himself but his family, co-workers and so on with positive and negative effects. But when the show’s not following Dean, there is a heavy focus on his brother Stewart, who not only has to deal with the fact that he’s the brother of a famous actor but he also has a life dedicated to the practice of law and when Dean comes into play with his bravado and casual approach to serious matters involving the law. I really enjoy how the show knows how silly it is and uses that to its advantage to create some very inventive, smart and over-the-top humour which got me laughing out loud from the first few episodes especially. But beyond the humour there is some heart and character progression that keeps things from getting repetitive and some of the new elements incorporated into the show change the dynamic every so often which means that there’s always something new to learn or time for other characters or stories to be covered.
But the main reason the show works is due to Rob Lowe as Dean Sanderson, Dean is abrasive, delusional and overly dramatic, but he’s also very cool, tenacious, sensitive and hilarious, and that’s only thanks to the various scenes we get to see from his acting on his former TV show, but also because Rob Lowe is a comedic badass. Since Parks and Rec, Lowe has become one of my favourite people to watch in TV and film and he is just as charismatic and charming as ever, and his timing for jokes is literally on-point. Fred Savage is no slouch as he does a great job Stewart Sanderson, while he can be a bit too much of a negative Nancy, he’s one of the few people that applies logic to a situation when everyone else has thrown it out of the window, plus it’s just great when he questions a lot of Dean’s actions and the stuff that goes on in The Grinder TV show. Also Mary Elizabeth Ellis who I’ve mainly seen in It’s Always in Philadelphia has a lot more to do in this show as Debbie Sanderson, she’s Stewart’s wife and while she initially doesn’t do much beyond being a generic wife, she does get some development and prominence as the show progresses. Natalie Morales as Claire Lacoste is fun at times because of her mellow attitude and complete uninterest in Dean, but a lot of times she’s really mean and unlikable and there’s not been much good development for her. Hana Hayes and Connor Kalopsis are just delightful as Lizzie and Ethan Sanderson, they have many cheeky, memorable and hilarious moments and good chemistry with Dean and their parents too. And while William Devane as Dean Sanderson, Sr. is mainly there just to say funny lines, it wouldn’t feel right without him being around. Steve Little is just so silly and yet funny as Todd, Timothy Olyphant is very engaging and humourous as the fictionalized version of himself, and Maya Rudolph has been wonderful in her appearances as Jillian.
In conclusion The Grinder is such a funny and random show with a unique concept, great acting and kick ass humour, that it would be impossible for me not to recommend it enough. The season’s not even over yet and I’ve enjoyed the show immensely and thanks to Rob Lowe especially I will continue to watch until this adventure ends. 🙂 So have you seen The Grinder and if so what do you think? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to comment below and I’ll se ya on the next TV review, laters! 😀