Between shows like Heres: Reborn, Agents of Shield, Arrow, The Flash, Once Upon a Time, Sleepy Hollow and much much more, it is hard to find a light-hearted television series that breaks up the heaviness of much of the stories found within the shows above. Sometimes watching a heavy drama-centered series doesn’t do the trick and you need to mindless silliness in your life. But hey, there is also shows like BoJack Horseman and Adventure Time that allow you to do that right? However, shows like that are far removed from being at all realistic…so maybe we need to re-evaluate what we are looking for… Let’s say we want a light-hearted comedic show, again to break up the drama-heavy shows, but something grounded a bit more in reality, to balance out the ridiculously funny shows. The maybe…just maybe… The Grinder could fill that void for you.
The Grinder is one out of three of Fox’s new shows for their fall lineup. It follows Dean Sanderson (Rob Lowe) as an actor who has played a fictitious lawyer on television for the past eight years. After the show’s final season, Sanderson moves back to his home town in Idaho where his brother, Stewart Sanderson (Fred Savage), an actual lawyer, is ready to take over their father’s law firm.
Stewart, although well versed in law, is very nervous and does not perform well in court and has to rely on note cards to get through trials even though he knows everything by heart. While struggling during a case in which a shady landlord is attempting to evict an older couple for refusal to pay rent (even though they claim to have written him a check a while back), Steward’s brother Dean steps in to help him win the case and come into his own.
The show relies on a lot of ridiculousness, and that is no surprise. Rob Lowe literally plays a character that attempts to use his [fake] knowledge of the law to help his brother win at court. And the judge, for the most part, allows the ridiculous circus show to continue, even though the opposing counsel objects profusely. Why? Because he is Dean Sanderson from TV and we all want to watch him perform his magic even if everything he does is, legally, inadmissible. But the best part is that the show doesn’t force you to suspend your disbelief in favor of pure humor, it makes fun of itself– pointing out the fact that Dean’s presentation, while correct in terms of information, is basically useless.
Savage and Lowe do seem to work well together throughout the show as Lowe plays the character that has it all and does whatever he wants (and gets away with it due to his fame) while Savage plays the jealous brother who feels bitter toward his older brother for having such an easy life. They both love each other on-screen and do a great job of being…what’s the word…”frenemies”?
The bottom line is that the show is by no means a “work of art”, but it has a niche of being a courtroom show that is not a drama. And, Franklin and Bash aside, you do not see this type of show often and it might just break up the monotony of television dramas enough to be enjoyable. Being that it has a brisk 30 minute rune-time and you have a show that is light-hearted and not overly time consuming. I am cautiously optimistic for this show and how to see more of Lowe and Savage on-screen together!