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SilverStormm

The Grinder

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Now I really want to watch Ray Donovan.  But I don't have Showtime.  I guess I should get it just for that and The Affair, which I saw during a free week last year and really enjoyed.

 

As for The Grinder, I'm really liking it for the most part and surprisingly (to me), I think I like Fred Savage as much, if not more, than Rob Lowe.  This is a really great role for him.  And the casting of his wife is perfect.  I like the kids fine, but not as much as the ones in Life in Pieces so far.

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This episode was stronger than the last, and I enjoyed the scene with Stewart trying to get Todd to repeat not telling Dean he knows he knows. There are little bits here and there I chuckle at. I think I like Grandfathered better than this show, but it does make a nice companion piece. I still think the premise is going to wear out very quickly though.

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Not as funny for me as the first two episodes, but I still really enjoyed it. I like how I like every character, there's no one I want to push off the screen. By far, my favourite new comedy.

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This episode was stronger than the last, and I enjoyed the scene with Stewart trying to get Todd to repeat not telling Dean he knows he knows.

 

That scene made me laugh out loud. I also laughed at the scene where Todd confessed to being the mole and everyone was, Yeah, we knew that.

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I can't even imagine how much fun Rob Lowe must be having in this role. All the hammy overacting, the pomposity, the preening and posing and arrogance, it seems like an absolute blast to play. Loved how proud he was of Ethan lying to get Lizzie to confess. He is a decent guy, just one who has lived in a bubble of self-importance and obliviousness for his whole life (with his dad as his biggest enabler).

 

The cold opens, with scenes from Grinder are hilarious. That show is so terrible, and yet I can completely believe it ran for eight years on American network television.

 

Todd's adoration of Dean, Stewart's pettiness about Dean, the dad's complete blindness to Dean's faults. They're all as deranged as he is, so it really works that Natalie Morales' character (Claire?) and Debbie are completely indifferent to it all. They're the straight men to this entire enterprise.

 

I liked the meta comment about Dean hating DVR for what it's done to the traditional TV ratings system.

 

This whole show works so well. So many laughs, and all the actors get their turn, even while Lowe and Savage are the focus.

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"the dad's complete blindness to Dean's faults."

So far, this is the only thing I can see irritating the shit out of me over the long haul. Loving everything else.

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I fell into this show by sheer accident - this and Grandfathered -  because I couldn't be bothered to hunt down the remote.  And as it turns out they're the only new shows I like.   Every now and then my laziness really works in my favor. 

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I fell into this show by sheer accident

Living up to your screen name!

I liked this one too, and it did change up the format somewhat. I can see Ethan grating in the future, and agree with everyone about the dad, but so far it's all working well.

I do wish that Deb had more to do, but actually, the tvdb description has a subplot about Deb that was apparently cut (and doesn't mention the whole Ray Donovan plot):

Convinced that the only explanation for Claire’s non-interest in him is that she’s a mole, Dean tells Stewart that Claire is sharing secrets with a rival firm. Although Stewart dismisses the accusation, Dean is set on proving his brother wrong. Meanwhile, Deb and Claire strike up a friendship, the gossipy nature of which propels Stewart to question whether Claire can be trusted after all.

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All the hammy overacting, the pomposity, the preening and posing and arrogance, it seems like an absolute blast to play.

 

It reminds me a lot of his role in Wayne's World.  Which isn't a bad thing since I love that movie.  

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I liked this one best so far, the opposing counsel guys are hilarious.

Overall, I thought the episode had a nice flow to it and they toned down Dean just that tiny bit I needed to find him entertaining rather than annoying. If they make the father more nuanced as well, I might run out of things to quibble about.

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I liked this one best so far, the opposing counsel guys are hilarious.

Overall, I thought the episode had a nice flow to it and they toned down Dean just that tiny bit I needed to find him entertaining rather than annoying. If they make the father more nuanced as well, I might run out of things to quibble about.

I agree. It was getting to me that Dean always "won," so I was happy that he was toned down and Stuart came out ahead in this episode. They need to be balanced.

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I love the cast on this show.  I began watching it mainly for Fred Savage and Rob Lowe, but I like everyone.  I don't watch Life in Pieces, so I agree that the kids on The Grinder are great, especially the son.  

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Did they kind of drop the father's story this week? He's not given a case, so he takes it upon himself to reshuffle offices. And? I feel like they probably filmed another scene that was cut. At least we found out that he was semi-retired before, which was new information for me.

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This show is really finding it's feet. I am enjoying it. I love the wife, Deb and her support of Stewart. Rob Lowe is doing a great job with Dean, just the rIght amount of D-baggery!

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Did they kind of drop the father's story this week? He's not given a case, so he takes it upon himself to reshuffle offices. And? I feel like they probably filmed another scene that was cut. At least we found out that he was semi-retired before, which was new information for me.

I think every week there has been a secondary plot in the episode description that didn't make the final cut. Not sure if that is standard faire, or what's going on. The father's character still hasn't come into his own and I'm waiting for a story to really give him purpose (even if it's a stand in for the audience, which is what I expect).

This show is so brilliant. I don't know how long the self aware satire holds up, but right now everything about it is working.

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This episode was good in the sense that the tide changed a bit, and it wasn't just about Rob's character causing trouble for his family.... he kind of had his own story, so I liked that.  While the husband and wife characters also had their own story, which was nice as well.

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Loving Stewart & Deb's relationship. Fred Savage & Mary Elizabeth Ellis are bringing it every week.  I also like their parenting and the realtionship with the kids.  It's not as "sit-com-y" as maaaany other shows (thank goodness).  I wish the writes could find a sweet spot for the William Devane character.  He seems extraneous and like an unneccessary after thought.

 

I hope they don't go down the road of an office romance with Dean & Claire.  This show has (so far) avoid the cliches of bitchy wife and too smart for real world kids, so let's not do the expected "will they or won't they" drama.  I'd love for Claire to remain slightly repulsed by Dean and maybe have a serious relationship with someone else.  I'd be OK if she & Dean form a plantonic work place friendship, but no hook ups!

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I really like this show a lot.  To do the inevitable comparison, it is IMO so much better than Grandfathered, no special lessons learned every week by the main character.  I think Fred Savage and Mary Elizabeth Ellis are brilliant in their roles and such a funny, believable couple and family.  And the actress who plays Clair is so much funnier and more likeable here than she was in (one of my favorite series that got cancelled way too soon, possibly because of the title) Trophy Wife.  I like that Dean actually did some homework and is starting to contribute in a real way or the premise of him winning because of his knowledge of law and popularity on The Grinder would wear thin so very quickly.  Overall, look forward to this one and Life in Pieces so far for the new season (and Fargo, but so far that's only on my DVR unwatched though I'm pretty sure I'm going to love it).

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This show continues to be a winner. Love that Dean is genre-savvy. That's a nice touch that works both for the character, and to let the show wink at the audience. Of course he expects a workplace love interest, he spent eight years on a crappy procedural melodrama.

 

His absolute sureness that Claire is falling in love with him, for no other reason than because he's him, is very funny. Rob Lowe does play him with enough charm that you can enjoy his douchiness. He's honestly channelling Leslie Nielsen with the deadpan, straight-faced nonsense spouting, as well.

 

"How'd you get a tux so fast? Keep it in your car?"

"Yeah."

 

I liked him putting in a bit of time with his niece and nephew, as well. It's a more human side of him, that he actually likes these kids. And that it gets Lizzie some playing time (even though she's apparently never even seen or read about basketball before) and Ethan a bit of handsiness from his date (a bit creepy, that) seems like a bonus.

 

And yeah, I hope Claire continues to be tolerant and indifferent to Dean. Him fooling himself into thinking it's a 'will they, won't they' romance while she just isn't interested is much funnier.

 

Stewart and Debbie trying to deal with being popular by association was kind of tiresome. Get over it, buddy, and make the best of it. This is how you forge relationships in social circles like this: give them something they want, get something you want. Stewart was kind of a dick, here. And this is why people like Dean more, Stewart. It's not just because he's famous, it's because he's charming and witty and good company.

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I liked him putting in a bit of time with his niece and nephew, as well. It's a more human side of him, that he actually likes these kids. And that it gets Lizzie some playing time (even though she's apparently never even seen or read about basketball before) and Ethan a bit of handsiness from his date (a bit creepy, that) seems like a bonus.

 

 

Stewart and Debbie trying to deal with being popular by association was kind of tiresome. Get over it, buddy, and make the best of it. This is how you forge relationships in social circles like this: give them something they want, get something you want. Stewart was kind of a dick, here. And this is why people like Dean more, Stewart. It's not just because he's famous, it's because he's charming and witty and good company.

I too like that Dean is there fore his niece and nephew. I think that's what makes his character work. He's out of touch with a lot of reality because of his show, but he's not a jerk. He genuinely loves his family. He also made a point about celebrity coming with responsibility. So he's not completely entitled. His heart is in the right place even if he's a bit misguided.

 

The scene with Stewart at the party showed that there isn't a "good" brother and a "bad" brother. Stewart totally fell for the false flattery showing some ego. I can kind of see why he would be upset. He's disappointed that the compliments weren't genuine and as we've seen before he doesn't want to always be in his brothers shadow. I think both reactions are understandable and show that the character, while more in touch with reality than Dean, still has his shortcomings.

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That other couple was being so obvious and rude about their interest in Dean though. It would have been okay if they acted friendly toward Stewart and Deb but also wanted to meet Dean. It probably would have been okay if they'd been upfront about the sick kid wanting to meet the Grinder at the charity dinner, but instead they were over the top phoney and then blew Stewart and Debbie off the moment Dean left.

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I just want to know if the "sick" kid at the banquet is Fred Savage's son. There didn't seem to be any credits at the end so I couldn't check.

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I just want to know if the "sick" kid at the banquet is Fred Savage's son. There didn't seem to be any credits at the end so I couldn't check.

Any reason you would think that?

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He had that look of the Savage family, especially his younger brother that was on Boy Meets World.

I looked on IMDB and Fred has a son but he's only 9 and that kid looked older than that.

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I love how realistic Stewart and Debbie are. They aren't mean and screechie, and are supportive of each other. It's so refreshing to see that on a tv show.

I also love how Dean is an egotistical guy, but he's still there for his niece and nephew, and dropped everything to help Stewart out. I don't want him with Claire- I like how repulsed she is by him.

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As long as the rest of the world around him largely remain aware that Dean is trying to live in a TV melodrama and don't fall for his schtick, I can watch this.  If he acts like this and they take it seriously, I will be out.  But having them acknowledge that it's ridiculous helps me deal.  Though never scatter my files to the wind like that dude!

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There's one gap for me, a piece of information I'm still wondering about.  Why did Dean stop being an actor?  There's no mention of what his options were after The Grinder was cancelled.  Has he truly retired and being in the "real" world is now what he really wants?  Or was his initial decision to return home due to lack of offers for other roles?  Since every episode includes scenes from his cancelled show and he provides narration after most of his conversations, the actor in Dean seems very much alive and that he hasn't let go.  I'm curious to see what would happen if there was a call from his agent with a part and what choice he would make. 

 

I'm enjoying Rob Lowe, but I'm also loving what Fred Savage is doing as Stewart.  Now give Devane something to do; he's currently way too much of an afterthought.  He doesn't even get the B plots.

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There's one gap for me, a piece of information I'm still wondering about.  Why did Dean stop being an actor?  There's no mention of what his options were after The Grinder was cancelled.  Has he truly retired and being in the "real" world is now what he really wants?  Or was his initial decision to return home due to lack of offers for other roles?  

 

This hasn't been fully explored yet, but the pilot did touch on it. From what I could tell, he was visiting home to watch the series finale with his family. Presumably the first time he had visited in awhile. He saw their family life and how happy they were, and became a bit jealous of Stewart, so he decided to stick around and try to play that role.

 

I have no doubt we'll get into this a bit more as the season progresses, and I'd bet money (not much, but a little) on a season finale cliffhanger where he's deciding between taking a new show or sticking around with family.

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I guess I'll step in with my minority opinion. I'm enjoying the show, but really don't like the "winning Claire over" subplot for a couple of reasons. One, it's obvious that Claire has no interest in Dean. She's not sending him mixed messages or giving him false hope - she's clearly not interested. The way he keeps trying to push his charms onto an unwilling, uninterested target is too much disbelief for me to suspend. I think I've had a few workplace HR trainings too many. I don't know if we're supposed to assume that because it's Rob Lowe, he can get away with behavior that would be found skeevy in the average guy…because he's good-looking, charming, and he's The Grinder! 

 

Secondly, I'm not a fan of the actress playing Claire. Maybe it's a tricky character. She has zero chemistry with Dean, but maybe that's the point. If the show is going to give Sam a long-term, romantic foil, I wish it would have been with a female character closer to his age, rather than an associate-level attorney. Rob Lowe foisting himself on a woman young enough to be his daughter is a little icky, IMO.

 

Maybe the show is going to give Claire some nuances aside from highly competent and highly efficient. I just don't find her particularly interesting, her lack of vocal inflection and don't see the attraction…but again, maybe her disdain IS the point. 

 

The basketball scene cracked me up, ditto "he's blending lemon juice and water." There's enough for me to enjoy about this show and the characters other than the Claire stuff I mentioned, so I'll definitely keep watching.

Edited by archer1267
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I guess I'll step in with my minority opinion. I'm enjoying the show, but really don't like the "winning Claire over" subplot for a couple of reasons.

I literally haven't seen anyone in favor of that relationship...or at least not on PTV so literally not a minority opinion (of those who have expressed opinions) here.

 

As for Natalie Morales, whether or not I like her depends on her character.  I did like her in her first episode but the will they/won't they story they're trying to tell is horrible.  Even if I think they're mostly mocking the will they/won't trope, and I think it's very possible they are, it's just annoying. 

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I guess I'll step in with my minority opinion. I'm enjoying the show, but really don't like the "winning Claire over" subplot for a couple of reasons. One, it's obvious that Claire has no interest in Dean. She's not sending him mixed messages or giving him false hope - she's clearly not interested.

There have been many hints given that she is not as disinterested as she puts on. One being that she has shown a strong familiarity with the show despite how much she supposedly hates it.

 

I literally haven't seen anyone in favor of that relationship...or at least not on PTV so literally not a minority opinion (of those who have expressed opinions) here.

 

As for Natalie Morales, whether or not I like her depends on her character.  I did like her in her first episode but the will they/won't they story they're trying to tell is horrible.  Even if I think they're mostly mocking the will they/won't trope, and I think it's very possible they are, it's just annoying. 

They're definitely mocking it in their own Grinder way. He looked straight at the camera and said, "will they, or won't they?" 

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I literally™ haven't seen anyone in favor of that relationship...or at least not on PTV so literally not a minority opinion (of those who have expressed opinions) here.

 

 

What I meant was (and I realize I wasn't clear!), minority opinion in that I'm not digging the Claire character or the actress.

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There have been many hints given that she is not as disinterested as she puts on. One being that she has shown a strong familiarity with the show despite how much she supposedly hates it.

 

I don't think there have been. To me, she plays it straight down the line as 'I'm not interested but I'm not going to make a big deal out of this. Grow up.' I wonder if we're just trained to see her shooting him down as television's cute, 'the lady doth protest too much' flirting. Perhaps that's what it is, but I hope not. There's just too much comedy to be had in her genuinely not being interested but Dean thinking she is.

 

I like Dean believing he's in his own, real life TV show, complete with the tropes that TV has told us should always exist. And then when that's juxtaposed with people who live in the real world like Claire and Stewart, it just becomes a delightful farce. A lot of the comedy so far has been quite meta when it comes to gags about TV shows.

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The Grinder received a full season order today from Fox. Great news!

 

It's a little curious that this show received an order and not Grandfathered. The shows air back to back and have substantially similar ratings with Grandfathered doing slightly better, if memory serves. I wonder if Stamos' legal troubles are being factored in.

 

Fox fully owns The Grinder, while Grandfathered is co-owned with ABC.  Per Deadline, they're negotiating with ABC and also expect a full season order for Grandfathered as well.

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Excellent news. This show is great fun, and deserves a chance to 'find its audience' or whatever parlance TV people use.

 

I hope so: I'm already watching The Flash live, and DVR the Muppets, Fresh Off the Boat, Grandfathered and this.  It's one of those shows that while I won't laugh out loud, I will chuckle throughout which works for me.

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I have to admit that I didn't see it coming that the son was a 23 year old man. That was funny. And I liked how everyone was concerned about Clare being upset about Dean dating someone and she was all, whatever. Much to like about this episode.

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Love Christina Applegate!  But what happened to her face?  I know we are all getting older, but she just didn't look good to me. 

 

I loved how that quote from "The Grinder" gave her character away ... something about giving up.

 

Also liked the office scenes of everyone being super-productive and getting a lot done when Dean was out of the office.

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The snappy dialogue riffing between Stew and Debbie is fantatic. The way she was needling his excitement about the prospect of getting dean out was outstanding. 3 cheers for a sitcom wife who isn't a the nagging Type-A personality.

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The snappy dialogue riffing between Stew and Debbie is fantatic. The way she was needling his excitement about the prospect of getting dean out was outstanding. 3 cheers for a sitcom wife who isn't a the nagging Type-A personality.

Yeah, when he was going on about how she kept herself up or whatever he was saying to indicate she was hot, I fully expected Debbie to get jealous and bitchy about it. I'm glad they didn't go that tired route.

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Yeah, when he was going on about how she kept herself up or whatever he was saying to indicate she was hot, I fully expected Debbie to get jealous and bitchy about it. I'm glad they didn't go that tired route.

"Oh Yeah, I need to hear about this body!"

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I liked this one as much as the others.  The relationship between Stewart & his wife is as good as it can get for a sit-com.  As close to "real" as possible, so do not eff it up, FOX!

 

Rob Lowe is 51, Christina Applegate is 44 and Fred Savage is almost 40.  So are they aging Christina to play Rob's prom date or de-aging Rob to be closer to 40's than 50's?  I think both look good for their ages, but even if he was a senior, Christina would have been in 5th grade! 

 

Loved that the son was 23 years old and how typical Dean-like Dean turned the  "parenting" knob up to 11.  I was hoping they wouldn't make him Dean's son as a result of prom night virginity taking. 

 

Also love Claire's attitude with Dean in the office and how self-centered oblivious Dean is to her lack of giving a damn.

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