In the new NBC comedy, Growing Up Fisher, which bowed Sunday night (10:38/9:38c), J.K. Simmons (The Closer, Oz) plays a blind lawyer named Mel who must navigate his career and family after getting a divorce… all with the help of his young son and guide dog. But did the show leave you wanting more or should it be put in the dog house?
Before you vote in the poll below, a brief recap.
Meet the Fisher family: At the head of the clan is Mel, a devoted father and lawyer who just so happens to be blind. When we first meet the man, he is chopping down a tree in the family’s backyard. “Why is he wearing safety goggles?” Mel’s daughter, Katie, asks. “Safety goggles?” replies Mel’s son, Henry. “That‘s what’s wrong with this picture?”
Not quite. While much of the show (and its jokes) deal with the fact that Mel doesn’t have the gift of sight, it also focuses on the family’s other zany characters. There’s Mel’s purple-pants-wearing ex-wife, Joyce (Jenna Elfman, Dharma & Greg), who seems just about as lost in life as her teenage daughter, Katie (Ava Deluca-Verley, Southland).
And then there’s Henry (newbie Eli Baker), the youngest in the Fisher family. Much of the first half-hour explores Henry and Mel’s relationship. Henry (whose inner monologue is narrated by Arrested Development‘s Jason Bateman) has always been his father’s right-hand man, helping Mel “hide” his blindness from new clients and assisting him with everyday tasks – that is until the new guide dog threatens the relationship.
Dog or no dog, Growing Up Fisher is a charming show that provides a fresh twist on the family comedy. Simmons and Elfman shine in their roles as parents to the Fisher kids.
But tonally, the pilot doesn’t always seem to know what it wants to be: Is it a dark comedy, a family comedy, or a complex dramedy? The show could benefit from letting more of its tender moments breathe, which could help it live up to its potential.
Worth noting: Growing Up Fisher moves to its regular timeslot on Tuesday, Febuary 25 at 9:30/8:30c.
Now, let’s hear what you have to say. Will you return to Growing Up Fisher? Is Mel officially the best dad ever? Grade the new series via the poll below, then hit the comments to back up your choice.Follow @classyjgalassi