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The Grinder

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I saw the pilot on an American Airline flight and really liked it. The leads were great and I buy the premise of it. I'm completely in, even though I would have watched regardless to see Fred Savage back on my screen.

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It's the 80s relics hour on Fox! 

 

Rob Lowe still looks hot.  Fred Savage still looks adorable (in a grown up way.)  I'll give one a few weeks to build but one of the better pilots so far. 

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I like the two leads and Devane, and I agree with the reviewer about the kids.  They were more acceptable than most sitcom kids.  But (and I admit I wasn't watching closely) did they mention the fact that it is against the law to practice law without a law license?  I saw The Grinder "studying."  Are they saying you can take the bar exam in Idaho w/o going to law school? Or are they just going to ignore the issue?  

Maybe I'm being picky because I'm bitter over those three years I spent in law school.  No one told me I had the option to instead star in my own TV show. Of course, that was in the 80s, and there weren't as many channels then, and hence, not as many opportunities for television stardom. 

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Watched the repeat of the pilot on the strength of this and other reviews, and it was definitely enjoyable. I have to admit I squeed a bit when Rob Lowe said "for lit-erally no reason at all". (Parks and Recreation!)  Fred Savage did a good job being the frustrated brother without falling headlong into the stereotype. (loved the part where he said his voice would be stuck in that octave forever). I think his character was a  little too bumbling - no way would he still be in business being as bad as he was. Looking forward to seeing the next one.

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Great pilot. Glad to see some quality sitcoms this finally.

Yes, him not having his license was a major plot point in the episode.

The little brother was running the family business, and thrived on settling and not actually going to trial. I think he could skate by being great at the technical side of law and terrible in court.

The only thing that didn't really work was the dad/grandfather. He was just kind of there and willing to go with whatever was happening. Love the actor, so hope they give him some character going forward.

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Really enjoyed it. Fred Savage was great, I like that the wife seems supportive but witty and not the typical smart ass who can barely tolerate her spouse. Please do not change this, Fox! And so happy to see Rob Lowe again! His dramatic courtroom antics "lit-erally" made me squee. Plus I just found out the young lady playing the teen daughter is the niece of someone I know.

Good pilot and I will be DVR'g this.

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I like that the wife seems supportive but witty and not the typical smart ass who can barely tolerate her spouse. Please do not change this, Fox!

 

Hell, yes. They were wonderful together. That's the way Everybody Loves Raymond started out then they devolved into sitcom hell -- bumbling husband, shrewish wife. Let's not go there.

 

I hope they keep this slotted with Grandfathered. Both pilots were strong and enjoyable.

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I didn't expect to enjoy this show, but I did! It was over the top campy funny. I love the relationship with the wife, she was actually a nice sitcom wife. Hope she stays that way.

I liked it and I will tune in again.

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I really liked it!

 

I found R.Lowe brilliant. He's walking a fine line with the campy/larger than life character he plays and yet he managed to make him both hilarious and very likeable to me. So likeable that actually, Stewart came off as a bit small at times, especially at the beginning of the episode. I felt that he was annoyed at Dean when imo the latter didn't do anything but be there. But it was probably because a pilot always lay it a bit thick with exposition.

 

I loved Debbie (the wife). I wouldn't be surprised if Dean Sr. is actually the smartest person in the room and knows exactly what he's doing (the best for both his sons) beyond his zany, go-with-the-flow attitude.

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DH and I thought the show was pretty bad. Deleted the OnePass.

Everything funny was shown in the trailer. We enjoyed the Rob Lowe scenes, but are not going to suffer through stupid Fred Savage, or the dumb, OTT character he plays for a mere few minutes of laughs per episode.

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I can't get over the name. "The Grinder" -- what does that even mean? I suppose it's explained on the show (I didn't watch) but it sure doesn't tell me anything about what the show's supposed to be about, and meanwhile it just fills my mind with unpleasant images.

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I rarely watch comedies, but this seemed like it had some heart. I actually liked it more than any other new show I've seen so far. The physical comedy was refreshing. And it's equally refreshing to have comedy writers who can do more than sex and bathroom jokes. Plus, the show didn't seem to take itself too seriously.

But I agree, Lingo, what is up with the show's title??

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I really liked it.  There were jokes in here that I didn't see coming (like Stewart falling into the jury box) and it has been a while since that happened.  I do think the show will have to walk a thin line in not deifying Rob Lowe's character too much or that would get annoying but it worked for a pilot premise.

 

I too liked the wife and the relationship where there was support and when there was mockery, it was full of affection. 

 

I do agree that William Devan was bizarrely misused.  I'm left confused by how he will fit into the series.  Hopefully, that will reveal itself in upcoming episodes.

 

I'm just really happy to have Fred Savage on my TV again.

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I can't get over the name. "The Grinder" -- what does that even mean? I suppose it's explained on the show (I didn't watch) but it sure doesn't tell me anything about what the show's supposed to be about, and meanwhile it just fills my mind with unpleasant images.

"The Grinder" is a nickname for Rob Lowe's "secondary" character on the show, Mitch Grinder. He's a lawyer on a long-running, but just ended TV legal drama, The Grinder (scenes from which will apparently open the Fox sitcom The Grinder). Apparently they call the lawyer character "The Grinder" because he grinds the opposition into pieces in court. Rob's primary character is Dean Sanderson, the actor who played "The Grinder" in the legal drama version.

When Dean's TV show ends, he returns to the family home in Boise, where his father (William Devane) & younger brother (Fred Savage) are real lawyers (& he apparently still has a "sibling rivalry" thing going with his brother). While he's trying to figure out what to do with his life now, he decides that since he played a lawyer for all those years--& through that picked up some knowledge of real-life law--he's going to join the family law practice. And then he goes to court to "assist" his brother on his current case. At least in part because his brother is really bad when it comes to the "public speaking/presenting your case" part of going to court, bad to the point he has to use note cards in court. But then Stewart (the real lawyer brother) has to put up with his brother the actor being stopped & recognized by fans in the courthouse/courtroom.

And that's basically the plot of the Pilot (I think), except for a "sibling rivalry" type thing where Stewart wants his brother Dean to be anywhere but in his house, his life, & back in Boise.

Hopefully I've answered your questions. I enjoyed the Pilot; looking forward to more.

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Rob is still handsome but is showing his age fast (after years of not) Even though they are only twelve years apart I would believe Rob and Fred more as father and son versus brothers who grew up together.

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Loved it! It was super stupid in the good way and funny like Enlisted was. So I fear it'll be short lived but I'll take what I can. It even got the Parks & Rec mention Rob Lowe saying "For literally no reason" with the little pause. Yeah !

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I thought it was really funny, but I was predisposed to like it because I adore Fred Savage. It's just a bit difficult to get used to him as a grown up. At the end, when he reluctantly said "Maybe you don't have to leave" I totally flashed back to him as a 6-year-old saying "Maybe you could come back tomorrow and read it again" to Peter Falk in The Princess Bride.

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Hashtag "TeenLife." LOL, loved it!

 

I was already laughing mere seconds into this show.  I loved Fred Savage back in the day, and still do.  His facial expressions are so subtle,and so funny.

 

Rob Lowe and William Devane as a son/father combo is completely brilliant and I can't believe no one thought to pair those two up before.

 

This one's going on the DVR for sure.

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As a lawyer, I usually hate lawyer shows because I nitpick them to death about unrealistic aspects. There were a lot of those here (the biggest being in civil suits, it's plaintiff, not prosecutor), but also many points that were very realistic. At least they've avoided the most aggravating thing about Suits, that Dean is not a real lawyer and that there are consequences to that. I wonder if Idaho allows admission to the bar after serving an apprenticeship with a law firm in lieu of law school (some states do.)

 

A fun start. I really like the wife and hope she stays the same as we move away from the pilot.

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Ok; Kumail Nanjiani is beyond hilarious.  "I have 10 million objections, rounding down, NOT a lawyer, we talked about that all too briefly --"

 

He was what I loved about the pilot; unfortunately I'm not seeing press that he's actually part of the show.

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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Ok; Kumail Nanjiani is beyond hilarious.  "I have 10 million objections, rounding down, NOT a lawyer, we talked about that all too briefly --"

 

I don't know the actor, but he was hilarious. "Have you ever spoken before?"  HAHAHA.

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I really like Rob Lowe, but this was pretty terrible -- particularly the silly courtroom hijinks which were much too campy for me. I told my husband I'll give it one more episode. Hopefully by then Lowe will have ditched the douchey hairstyle.

 

Quite a letdown after the very enjoyable Grandfathered.

Edited by Jillybean
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Loved it and really liked "Grandfathered" also. Thought Stamos was perfect in his role. My friends and I have had competitive "Who would you do, Rob Lowe or John Stamos" for the past 5 years. Now there's something for each side. I have always been Team Lowe.

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This was funny enough that I'll keep watching.  Loved the whole Noah Wyle hypothetical.  Yeah, I guess I would probably rather have someone who played a doctor on TV for years coming to my aid over just some regular guy or gal.  Makes sense that you'd pick things up over the years if you're an actor pretending to be a doctor...or a lawyer, or whatever.

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Tight pilot. I really enjoyed it and laughed a lot. Stewart jumping up onto the jury box and falling off still has me laughing.

For some reason, it didn't hit me until reading your comment, but the creep Fred Savage played on Boy Meets World was also named Stuart. He should not have made a move on Topanga! 

 

I enjoyed the pilot. A little too much set up, but the table negotiation and Kumail were both hilarious. I'm not a teen, but I may start tagging all of my social media posts #teenlife. 

 

I kind of like the idea of having Stewart being inept at the theatrics necessary for trial. Realistically, he probably shouldn't be a trial lawyer, but being able to effectively engage a jury is a real skill for trial attorneys. Also, I completely didn't care that there were 10 million objections to the Grinder's calling a witness during closing, it was fun and I was totally along for the ride. Rob Lowe has the charisma to bring the audience along and I'm excited to see this show develop.

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Ok; Kumail Nanjiani is beyond hilarious.  "I have 10 million objections, rounding down, NOT a lawyer, we talked about that all too briefly --"

 

He was what I loved about the pilot; unfortunately I'm not seeing press that he's actually part of the show.

I hope he can be a sort of reoccurring guest star somehow. I loved all his line readings!

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I liked it, but like Grandfathered, the main problem seems to be the sustainability of the premise. How long can Rob Lowe's character go on playing "lawyer" without an actual law license? Plus he's the type of character that's a little too absurd to exist in real life. I never got any sense of why he wouldn't want to pursue other acting roles now that his show is over - why would he want to move back to his home town in Idaho to practice law in a family firm when he's a big TV star? Maybe they'll cover that in future episodes.

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Ratings are in: The show got a 1.5 Demo in 18-49; a 5 Share; & 4.8 Million viewers overall (which was .5 Million less than Grandfathered got the previous half hour--their 18-49 Demo & Share were exactly the same as The Grinder). The Grinder held the audience.

Variety is calling the ratings "OK".

http://variety.com/2015/tv/news/grandfathered-grinder-muppets-limitless-ratings-1201606130/

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I never got any sense of why he wouldn't want to pursue other acting roles now that his show is over - why would he want to move back to his home town in Idaho to practice law in a family firm when he's a big TV star?

 

Dean was only visiting but then saw what Stewart 's life was like with a loving wife, two great kids, respect of his colleagues, relationship with the father and wished he had that kind of life. It's a case of the grass is always greener on the other side.

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Pretty good pilot. I'm usually not a fan of the half hour filmed comedy's without a live audience. I'm defiantly old school (almost 51) but I did laugh out loud a few times which means they are doing something right. That said, I thought William Devane was woefully underused. I will be curious to see if he's used more not. Maybe, Devane likes the light load of not having to carry a show though.

Now, for the sticky question. Who gets the lead nomination for Best Actor in a Comedy? Lowe or Savage? Mmmmmmm!

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The little brother was running the family business, and thrived on settling and not actually going to trial. I think he could skate by being great at the technical side of law and terrible in court.

 

Actually, the vast majority of law has nothing to do with court.  And even litigation attorneys settle without trial the vast majority of cases--around 95%.  There isn't enough time in the universe to try every civil and criminal case that gets filed in any court.  So he's not "skating by"--he's actually practicing law.  Trial work is a very small subset of law, and it's common for most people to have little experience in court.  Yes, he was bad at public speaking, but he wasn't in any way "skating by."

 

At least in part because his brother is really bad when it comes to the "public speaking/presenting your case" part of going to court, bad to the point he has to use note cards in court.

 

Having to use notes, whether on cards, on legal pads, typewritten scripts--is something real litigators use EVERY TIME.  The only lawyers who don't use some type of notes are TV lawyers--you know, actors who have a script memorized and know that everyone else in the room is going to stick to the script too.  In real court, whether hearings or trials, stuff you didn't expect is the norm--you have to expect witnesses to say something you weren't expecting, an objection that could throw you off, or frankly, that the sheer volume of information you have to have at your fingertips--not just the law, or the questions you're asking this particular witness, but all the facts of the case, keeping track of exhibits and what number or letter you're on, keeping track of your opponent's exhibits, notes on connecting material between witnesses--the note cards were only problematic because he wanted to just be able to stand and read from them without doing anything more. 

 

I agree that he doesn't have a great courtroom presence, and that he should be in Toastmasters or something like it to work on these skills, but some of the things they tried to make Stewart look incompetent were just wrong. 

 

I can't get over the name. "The Grinder" -- what does that even mean? I suppose it's explained on the show (I didn't watch) but it sure doesn't tell me anything about what the show's supposed to be about, and meanwhile it just fills my mind with unpleasant images.

 

As BW Manilowe noted, they gave a TV reason for the name, but it's also a term from law school.  Many law schools call the class go-getters (the ones who answer every question in class and screw up the curve for everyone else) as "grinders."  It's a joke only lawyers are likely to get, as Dean seems like he would be the opposite of a grinder--relying on charm and improve to get through, rather than working all the time and grinding down everyone else.

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Many law schools call the class go-getters (the ones who answer every question in class and screw up the curve for everyone else) as "grinders."

 

 

Didn't Fred Savage's character say something to his wife along the lines of "He's not the grinder, I'm the one who understands the grind" like the grind of working all day at a job also may have had something to do with the title?  Or maybe I'm making that up.

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So much better than I expected!

 

I don't at all identify with Savage's character, because as a litigator I never, ever got nervous when I had to speak in court and I didn't stumble over my words and turn bright red and which I could stay mute and just rely on my research and writing skills.

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I really enjoyed this. Some genuine laughs (not least the bit about Noah Wyle, because I remember when he said he planned to deliver his own kid, having learned how to on E.R). I think there's a lot of mileage in the premise of a showboating, pompous twerp winning petty little cases in small courts.

 

Rob Lowe is as charming as ever, and seems to be aging at a quarter of the rate of a regular human. He was great as the drama queen actor. "I will leave. At first light." Fred Savage has a nice manic energy that plays well with Lowe's suave manner. He's so believable as the overlooked younger sibling. And William DeVane as the dad who overlooks him was fun.

 

I recognised Savage's wife from her turn as the necrophile-inclined forensic examiner on Brooklyn Nine Nine, and I liked her in that role. She's a good, calm presence here. A few other familiar faces too, which helped ground the show right from the off.

 

Grinder looked like a gloriously dumb, melodramatic procedural show. I could almost believe it's actually airing on CBS right now.

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So, I found the pilot surprisingly good. Not great, and I'm not in love with it, but it's good enough where I'll stick around. I can also see this show easily making three seasons. Rob Lowe and Fred Savage both are extremely charming and they're going to be the highlights of the show. The kids could be worse, and I like Savage's on screen wife. I think it has a slightly different vibe than Grandfathered (I notice a LOT of comparisons because they're back to back) and I like both shows in different ways.

 

I will say I'm a Savage fan (both Fred and his brother Ben) so I'm leaning more toward their character than Lowe's, but I like both quite a lot more than I thought I would. 

 

But...less focus on the kids. I think they can survive on focusing on the adults. 

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