In the mood to veg in front of the TV last night, so I saw both episodes of this – liked it a lot. Because A), who doesn’t like Michael J. Fox, and B), although it’s about his Parkinson’s, it’s not really about his Parkinson’s. As promised.
I’ll catch it again, though I’m not sure it’s going to make it onto my “that’s what I do Thursday night” list.
They’re asking a lot of Fox, though. I mean, if you liked Kelsey Grammer enough to follow him from CHEERS to FRASIER, you promptly found yourself saying “Hey, that guy playing his brother is even funnier” and “Y’know, the dude playing his dad is also great” – in much the same way as I’m sure Ray Romano fans reacted to EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND. Tina Fey was great in 30 ROCK, but she obviously needed to bounce off award-bait performances from other castmembers just as much as Jerry Seinfeld did or Ed O’Neill does.
Heck, it’s how Fox got his big break, earning a supporting-actor Emmy nomination à la Fonzie in '85 – you know, right back when BACK TO THE FUTURE had him playing off the dueling eccentricities of Christopher Lloyd and Crispin Glover, with Thomas F Wilson memorably pulling his weight and then some.
This show, though, is Fox, Fox, and nothing but Fox; his family, his co-workers, they’re all just kind of – there, in flatly lackluster blandness.
[responding to ** Shakes**) No, though the Michael J. Fox character has Parkinson’s, that’s not really the primary focus of the plotting or the jokes. For instance, they’re clearly going to have a regular focus on the relationship between the older two of the three kids (teenagers), Mike’s sister is a regular character, etc. (She’s a freelance writer who was agonizing about having to write 200 words, and I’m just thinking, bitch, please, 200 words? That’s a sidebar to the real assignment.)
I disagree on the secondary characters, Waldo. The wife is just kind of generic wife at this point, but I think they’re setting up the others to be actual characters with their own stuff going on. The fact that they’re not completely #D – well, it was the pilot and another ep, we’re not exactly too far into it yet.
I’ve only seen the first episode so far, but I was pleasantly surprised. I thought it would be competent. It was overall pretty good and were several points where it reached very good. (the sibling conversation, for example)
I rather enjoyed it, and I’ll probably watch it again (unless they move it to opposite BBT, in which case I’ll abandon NBC altogether). I think they’ll move the focus even further away from his Parkinson’s now that the initial premise has been established. I did have a hard time understanding his speech sometimes, so I missed a few lines. I’m not sure if that problem lies with me or with Fox, though.
The secondary characters were pretty unremarkable, but I think that’s because the anticipation and attention were focused on Michael J. Fox. I liked them enough to give them a few weeks to grow into their roles.
I’m mildly interested in the character that Michael J. Fox plays and almost wholly uninterested in every other character. I have to hope that will change as the focus shifts from the elephant in the room, but wholesome families don’t make for comedy.
Watched both episodes tonight. Really liked them. Much more than I expected to. Pretty funny writing and there seems to be great chemistry between everyone. Fox is very likeable and his comic timing is still great.
I loved when they were in bed and his wife said something like “you don’t shake when you’re really asleep and you don’t talk like a ghost either”. Had me cracking up.