Breaking the Third Wall
It’s a tv show within a tv show. The actor Dean has to deal with coming back into the real world. He played a lawyer on a television show called ‘The Grinder’ and thinks he can be a lawyer in real life. He moves in with his brother, his sister-in-law and their two children. His brother, Stewart, is a real life lawyer and Dean decides to join him in the family law firm.
The show is very funny. It takes a few episodes to really get in to, but once you’re in, you’re in for good. The first few episodes were a bit too predictable, but it is forgiven. The characters needed some building up, but now that the show is up and running, it’s getting more exciting. The music is pulling you back in when you lose focus. It’s catchy. The tunes of the fictional show come back in Dean’s new real life, emphasising how Dean can’t separate himself from his character. He’s stuck. His brother is his anchor, though neither realise this yet.
The children of Dean’s brother often provide a nice B story. What they go through (auditioning for a school play, inviting dates over) keep the show light and funny. Stewart’s wife Deb is also a strong character. She is often more on Dean’s side than on her husband’s side, which provides amusing conflicts.
The biggest plus of the show is Rob Lowe, who plays the main character Dean. Most people probably know him as Chris Traeger from Parks and Recreation. The characters of Dean and Chris are alike in many ways. They’re both upbeat people, they believe that the impossible is possible AND they say literally when it’s not supposed to be used (but they’re excused).
“I know, life’s funny that way, sometimes you find exactly what it is you’re looking for and you’re not allowed to pursue it for literally no reason.”
What is still left to see if this show can keep up. Can it grab the viewer’s attention for episodes or even seasons to come? I am not completely sure yet if there is enough story left. Already the show keeps falling back on Dean’s arrogance and his brother’s innocence. They fight each other every episode and then come to a middle ground at the end. It’s very repetitive. What we realise each episode is that though Dean seems very self-absorbed, he’s also insecure. The same is true the other way around for his brother, who seems insecure but is also arrogant. Dean knows he can convince people and he always thinks he is right, but he also has no idea what he is doing with his life. His brother can’t talk, he stutters, but he thinks he knows everything better than anyone else. Though the characters are interesting in that way, they’ll need to be more than that in episodes to come for the show to keep the viewer’s attention.