Fall TV Popularity Contest: Did You Enjoy Grandfathered or The Grinder?

One thing is sure: Savage and Lowe make a great pair, both on-screen and in a recent joint interview. Stamos plays restaurateur Jimmy Martino, an energetic, somewhat fretful human tornado who, when we meet him, is plucking a gray hair from his head as though it were a tick. And seriously, John Stamos as a grandfather?


It is probably a coincidence that Fox landed “The Grinder“, Rob Lowe’s post-“Parks and Recreation” starring vehicle, and “Grandfathered“, John Stamos’s first turn as a series regular since the end of “ER”, simultaneously.

What’s nice about the series is that, after the required moment of shock, confusion and temperamental if not factual denial, Jimmy moves on quickly to acceptance and interest. It’s an issue his character handles on the FOX arrangement The Grinder, debuting Tuesday. Is there anyone that you’ve worked with in the past, that you’d love to see come on the show? You may not even realize how much you’ve missed his presence on your TV until you see Savage take on The Grinder.

Concerned about how Jimmy will handle all this is his restaurant family, assistant manager Annelise (Kelly Jenrette, Audrey) and chef Ravi (Ravi Patel, Super Fun Night).

But, at heart, Jimmy is a decent guy.

What’s not so good: All those theatrics in the premiere are about … a rent check.

What shows are you embarrassed to love? All of a sudden, my son has shown up, and it’s like Fred disappears. You don’t make it to 25 years without getting to the real stuff, which is this. Lowe then proved his comedic chops in “Parks”. But he’s not the only cameo.

Judging by how numerous tables are occupied, Jimmy has a full house.

The cast is ideal in every way. Christina Milian plays Gerald’s friend Vanessa, who is also the baby’s mother.

It’s amusing, it’s warm and a deceptively good lead-in to the other new Fox comedy, “The Grinder“, which has nothing to do either with a type of sandwich or a gay hookup app. Savage has spent most of his adult years directing, but with “The Grinder“, he has finally found a new onscreen TV home. I wasn’t really looking past that. He played Creepy Rob Lowe for DirecTV ads and watched people swim, and lends his voice to cartoons. Deans brother Stewart, played by Fred Savage, is an attorney within the familys law firm, and even though hes competent in the job, he relies on notecards help him in his cases and has a few confidence issues. The answer, of course, is to continue playing it offstage (something he was sort of doing anyway) by joining the family law firm and helping his brother Stewart (Fred Savage) deal with his confidence and memorization problems.

Lowe portrays Dean Sanderson Jr., the star for eight seasons of the hugely popular legal drama The Grinder. (William Devane); Stewart’s wife, Debbie (Mary Elizabeth Ellis, forever known to Always Sunny fans as the Waitress); and Stewart and Debbie’s two kids, unpopular middle-schooler Ethan and high-school-age daughter Lizzie.


When Dean, inevitably, has his time in court, the script throws together more legal-TV clichés. Since then, the now 39-year-old father of two has kept himself busy behind the camera as a respected director on shows like “The Goldbergs” (which has drawn comparisons to his “Wonder Years” days) and as a voice-over artist. He’s immediately resentful and wary on a number of fronts when Dean comes back to town. For example, rather than settle into the typical lawyer procedural grooves, the show mines them for humor using Lowe’s character and his Hollywood-only reference points – big closing arguments, refusing to settle, etc. – and plopping them into a real courtroom.

Rob Lowe & Co. have fun with fame game in 'The Grinder'