Sunday, October 18, 2015

Take Three: The Grinder

The Grinder: Season 1, Episode 3 “The Curious Disappearance of Mr. Donovan” (B+)

There’s something about the style of this show that works pretty well and helps augment the plotlines contained within to a funnier level. Much of that is due to Rob Lowe and the way that he plays Dean with such commitment to his own ego, but a lot of it also has to do with the players around him, particularly Fred Savage, William Devane as their father, and Mary Elizabeth Ellis as Stewart’s wife Debbie. Dealing with Dean having trouble admitting he was wrong was the perfect focus for this installment, which found Dean still trying to pin a broken window from twenty years earlier on his less perfect brother and then identifying Claire as the mole, which proved to be incredibly incorrect. Stewart trying to trick him into admitting it by pretending that he fired Claire was an especially entertaining moment. Steve Little definitely has a penchant for playing suckers, as Todd was an unwitting mole in this case because he loudly told a bartender all the case secrets while opposing lawyers kept him talking with free drinks. The family obsession with “Ray Donovan” was random (but understandable – it is a terrific show), and I like that Stewart pressed his own children to confess to having deleted an episode from the DVR, which created obvious confusion when watching to the next episode but hilariously should have been irrelevant due to its availability via On Demand. The best spoken line, uttered twice by Dean, once as the Grinder: “You. Just. Did.”

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