Pilot Perception: Grandfathered

Welcome to Pilot Perception, our feature in which we break down the first episode of each new show in order to help you decide whether it’s worth your time.

The Show: Grandfathered, FOX in the U.S. and City TV in Canada, Tuesdays at 8/7c

The Pedigree: The show was created by Daniel Chun (The Office, Trophy Wife), who executive produces with Dan Fogelman (Galavant) and star John Stamos. Chris Koch (Modern Family) directed the pilot.

The Cast & How You Know Them: Grandfathered stars John Stamos (Full House), Josh Peck (Drake & Josh), Paget Brewster (Criminal Minds), Christina Milian (The Voice), Kelly Jenrette (Weird Loners), and Ravi Patel (The New Normal).

The Premise: Star restaurant owner and lifelong bachelor Jimmy is shocked to find out he has an adult son and a baby granddaughter.

A Taste:


What Works: I really enjoyed this — and I’m not even a John Stamos fan. (Nothing against him; I just never watched Full House.) I laughed more than I expected, and there were also some genuinely touching moments. It used pop music to great effect — I especially liked the “Uptown Funk” opening. (Huh, in the clip above, it’s changed to a different song.) And Jimmy’s son Gerald’s concerns were just hilariously on point: 3D printing! BuzzFeed listicles! Decision fatigue! I’m a sucker for shows about very different but basically decent people who reluctantly come together and grow to care for each other, and that seems to be where we’re headed here. Also: RIDICULOUSLY CUTE BABY.

What Doesn’t: It’s pretty self-aware — someone talks about Stamos’s character’s deal with the devil to still look so good, and his hair-coloring is a running joke — which was, I think, necessary in the pilot but could easily get annoying if it continues. Both Jimmy and Gerald could too easily have become flat stereotypes; they were surprisingly nuanced for a pilot, but that nuance needs to expand to ensure that they’re real characters rather than backdrops for jokes.

Our Favorite Line: “I’m cool. I watch Portlandia. I almost went to Coachella last year until I decided not to.”

You Might Like This if you like comedies about non-traditional families that have a dose of workplace comedy as well, and include lots of pop culture references. It reminded me a bit of Raising Hope as well as Trophy Wife, on which this show’s creator worked.

If You’re Interested: FOX is rerunning the pilot on Friday at 8/7c, or catch it on demand, on Hulu, or on the FOX or City TV sites. Then set your DVR for Tuesday at 8/7c.

(Photo courtesy of FOX.)

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