Sunday, November 8, 2015

What I’m Watching: The Grinder

The Grinder: Season 1, Episode 5 “A Bittersweet Grind (Une Mouture Amer)” (B+)

Being the Grinder isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, or at least that’s what Dean would have you believe in this half-hour since women apparently only want to be with him so that they can have sex with him while they’re watching him on TV at the same time. That lonely opening was the perfect opportunity for Debbie to convince Stewart to meddle and set Dean up with the woman he dated when he was in high school, Christina Applegate’s Gail. What made this episode work for me was that both Dean and Gail refused to acknowledge that it was weird that they were treating Gail’s adult son as if he was a child ripe for parenting, but that wasn’t what made their relationship fall apart. Instead, it was Gail’s accidental referencing of a Grinder quote and Dean’s subsequent detective work to determine that she was in fact the owner of a television and a devoted Grinder fan. Ending the episode with Dean lying on yet another surface and inviting Stewart to join him brought things to a satisfying close on a sweet note, and, ultimately, it’s good to have Dean around. That’s not quite true in the workplace, however, and the impressive work ethic and speed with which things were accomplished in Dean’s absence far dwarfed the times when he was present and ready to distract everyone at a moment’s notice. If nothing else, this show is fun, and I think it’s relatively clever too. The scenes from the show-within-a-show continue to be short and amusing, infusing just the right amount of absurdity into every installment.

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