It’s spring, and that means the networks are deciding what TV shows will be renewed for next season.
One of the shows “on the bubble,” meaning it hasn’t been canceled outright, but it COULD be, is Fox’s delightful “The Grinder.” This show is smart, funny, and fun, but has gotten criminally low ratings all season.
The series stars Rob Lowe as Dean Sanderson Jr, an actor who has just finished a long run playing a lawyer on a TV show, also called “The Grinder.” With no show, he returns to Idaho to be near his father (William Devane, in his best role) and brother Stewart (Fred Savage, all growed up).
Dean Sr and Stewart run a law firm, and Dean Jr decides his experience playing a lawyer make him qualified to practice law. However, he can’t stop being dramatic.
Very, very dramatic.
Every episode features clips from Dean’s TV shows (usually “The Grinder,” but we’ve seen an early gig on a sitcom as well) shot in a different appropriate style.
There are also fun guest star shots, such as Jason Alexander as Dean’s old director, Timothy Olyphant as himself, playing the replacement for The Grinder (Dean’s character), Maya Rudolph as Dean’s therapist/girlfriend, and Richard Schiff, from “The West Wing,” as The Grinder’s boss on the show-within-the-show.
Also, of course, the writing is fantastic. It doesn’t take itself seriously, and it respects the intelligence of its audience. It lampoons actors and acting, TV shows in general and law shows in particular, and all your favorite TV tropes.
Oh, and Jake Kasdan is a producer (as is Rob Lowe). Like, produced “Freaks and Geeks” and wrote “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story” Jake Kasdan! Son of Lawrence Kasdan Jake Kasdan! That guy!
“The Grinder” (the show you and I can watch) airs Tuesdays at 9:30/8:30c on Fox. It plays this upcoming week on April 12. Watch it.
Save “The Grinder!”