Networks have long pined for the definitive formula for what makes a successful show. Hence the reason so many lame shows look like carbon copies of far better shows. But, if you showed up at a network with the formula of John Stamos+a baby+that kid from Drake and Josh, no not that one, the other one, you’d likely be shown the door before you finished your sentence. And yet, Grandfathered may be one of the best sitcom pilots I’ve seen in some time.
Pilots are a tricky business. By definition they need to be exposition heavy, but exposition is rarely entertaining. When you add in the time constraint of a comedy, it can feel almost impossible. But its shows like Grandfathered that prove it can be done. In my humble yet undisputable opinion, a comedy needs to do only two things: make me care about the characters and make me laugh. Grandfathered had me doing both.
At first, Jimmy (John Stamos) seemed a little too much the cliché of a confirmed bachelor, but before the first commercial break he had won me over. Such is the power of Stamos. Josh Peck, as surprise son Gerald, is charming enough and Stamos’ chemistry with ex-love Sara (Paget Brewster) is undeniable. Plus, Christiana Milan, as baby mama Vanessa, is surprisingly tolerable when she isn’t explaining how twitter works and baby Edie is possibly the cutest child on television. And that is a high bar.
So yes, the characters were endearing, the laughs were plenty, but more importantly the show displayed a whole lotta heart. And while that wasn’t on my list of comedy requirements, it sure doesn’t hurt.
Final Verdict: A definite must watch for fans of laughter and things that make your heart happy. And hopefully that’s everyone.
*Grandfathered airs Tuesdays at 6/7c on FOX.
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