Share this article

print logo

Fox's new shows aren't worth screaming about

This is the fourth and final installment of my brief reviews of the broadcast networks' new series.

“Empire” saved Fox from disaster last season.

With “American Idol” having its swan song starting this January, the network needs more hits.

It seems to be following the philosophy that has worked for CBS of putting known TV stars in new series, with a twist. Most of Fox's new series have absurd premises.

Here is a mini-review of many of them.

“Grandfathered,” 8 p.m. Tuesday: John Stamos stars as a vain and selfish owner of a trendy restaurant, “Jimmy’s,” with a clientele that includes Deion Sanders, Don Rickles and Lil Wayne. Jimmy discovers he is a father and a grandfather on the same day and takes a crash course in parenthood. He dishes out romantic advice to his awkward son (played by Josh Peck of “The Mindy Project"). Jimmy also still may have a thing for his son’s mother, played by Paget Brewster(“Criminal Minds”). But the best lines go to Kelly Jenrette as the acerbic assistant manager of the restaurant.

You’ll Like It If: If you still have a thing for Stamos, who looks almost as amazing at age 52 as his character thinks he does. And you love all the self-deprecating jokes about his gray hair and his clueless understanding of relationships.

You’ll Hate It If: You are tired of comedies about clueless men who think they deserve a medal for learning how to change a diaper.

Outlook: Stamos is as charming as ever and there are some funny and sweet moments. But I can’t see going back for too many servings since it shouldn’t take long for him to learn the ropes of being a father and grandfather. You’ve seen the best lines in the promos. 2 and a half stars

“The Grinder,” 8:30 p.m. Tuesday: Rob Lowe plays a version of Stamos’ character. He is Dean Sanderson, a vain television star of a canceled courtroom drama. He visits his brother Stewart (played by Fred Savage) in Idaho. Stewart is a practicing attorney who fumbles his words and is given lessons by Dean on the importance of style over substance in front of the bench. There are a few other complications. Dean dated Stewart’s wife (Mary Elizabeth Ellis of “New Girl”) in high school. Stewart also is jealous of his brother’s success and how easy he makes everything look, in the courtroom and dealing with Stewart’s kids.

You’ll Like It If: You are heavily into absurdity, like thinking Noah Wyle of “ER” fame could save you if you had a heart attack. And you were a fan of "The Smothers Brothers" act.

You’ll Hate It if: You are getting tired of Lowe, who seems to be repeating his act in every series.

Outlook: The pilot has its moments, but the premise could quickly become a grind. 2 and a half stars

“Rosewood,” 8 p.m. Wednesday: Morris Chestnut (“The Best Man” franchise) is Beaumont Rosewood, a self-assured, loving life doctor with billboards all over Miami who calls himself “the Beethoven of private pathologists.” He uses his high-tech skills to solve crimes in Miami with the help of his sister and her female fianceé.  He eventually teams with Miami Detective Villa (Jaina Lee Ortiz), who initially ignores his good looks, charm and sense of humor. But you know that won’t last.

You’ll Like It If: The charm of Chestnut, who currently is in another feature film, is the main selling point of a pilot that otherwise seems like just a high-tech version of “Quincy.”

You’ll Hate It If: You expect your co-leads to have some chemistry. He and Ortiz don’t have much of it, even in the scenes in which they share secrets about their health and lost loved ones.

Outlook: It is the lead-in to “Empire” so expectations are high. The chemistry better build fast or the series will be deader than Beethoven awfully quick. 2 stars

“Minority Report,” 9 p.m. Monday: Based on the Steven Spielberg film, the TV series stars Stark Sands (“Kinky Boots” on Broadway) as one of the innocent leftovers of an experiment that enables him to predict crimes before they happen. Set in 2065 in Washington, D.C., he teams with an attractive police detective (Meagan Good) to try and stop murders.

You’ll Like It If: You like discovering that the Washington team in the NFL really does eventually change its nickname and other things about the future.

You’ll Hate It If: You are in the majority who wants your scripts to make more sense.

Outlook: It is passable entertainment, but you are better off re-watching the movie. Or going to see “Kinky Boots” if you haven’t already. 2 stars

“Scream Queens,” 8 p.m. Tuesday: The latest from the Ryan Murphy (“Glee” and “American Horror Story”), it is a drama and black comedy about a serial killer roaming a college campus full of spoiled females and the less attractive pledges that they are forced to accept by the dean.

You’ll Like It If: You are a fan of outrageous comedy and uncomfortable violence.

You’ll Hate It If: You don’t enjoy seeing anyone bullied even if the lesson you are supposed to take from it is that it is a horrible way to treat people.

Outlook: With a cast that includes Lea Michele, Abigail Breslin, Emma Roberts, Keke Palmer, Niecy Nash, Nick Jonas, Olivia Hudson, Ariana Grande and Jamie Lee Curtis, I expected much more. I found watching the pilot  uncomfortable and horrifying but all of Murphy's series tend to improve. 2 stars


There are no comments - be the first to comment