Sunday, November 15, 2015

What I’m Watching: The Grinder

The Grinder: Season 1, Episode 6 “Dedicating This One to the Crew” (B)

This installment wasn’t a slam dunk, though it was still decently entertaining. Dean’s attempts at parenting have been mixed at best, but it’s clear that he wants to make family a big part of his life, and that’s just what he’s doing. Encouraging Stewart to put his arm around their father produced a humorous reaction in Stewart after the elder Dean thanked the son who wasn’t hugging him, and the bigger influence was on young Ethan, who had to decide how he wanted to be involved in theater. Dean’s disregard for the relevance of being part of the crew led to a fantastic victory for Stewart, who managed to be extremely stealthy and be present to learn that Ethan had been denied the part explicitly because of the drama teacher’s vendetta against Dean for taking his part in high school. I knew I recognized the teacher, and some quick research revealed that he was portrayed by Michael Showalter, most recently seen with an excessive hairdo on “Wet Hot American Summer.” This show isn’t too concerned with reality and believability, and Stewart and Claire have the job of serving as surrogates for the audience to point out when Dean’s plans are simply absurd. Enlisting Todd’s basic Microsoft Excel skills to hack into the high school computer was a definite highlight of ridiculousness, and I think that was a more effective way to utilize the potentially problematic character of Todd than in previous episodes. I’d like to see a bit more of Claire, and I think that Dean needs a reminder that he’s still supposed to be pursuing her romantically.

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