Monday, November 30, 2015

What I’m Watching: The Grinder

The Grinder: Season 1, Episode 8 “Giving Thanks, Getting Justice” (B+)

Leave it to this show to use Thanksgiving as an opportunity to advance its story creatively with a big reveal about why Dean left his show and the shocking news that the show-within-a-show is going to live on even without Dean. It seemed at first that Jason Alexander was going to be the guest star of the episode, playing the creator of the show who was more interested in showing Dean shirtless than preserving any artistic integrity. Having Timothy Olyphant play himself seemed like nothing more than a clever way to get Dean to make a joke referencing the fantastic “Justified,” but it turns out that Olyphant might become a much bigger part of the show now that he has been cast in “The Grinder: New Orleans.” That’s going to be an enormous blow to Dean’s ego, and it’s going to be up to his family to pick up the pieces. Dean and Stewart were relatively united in horror and disgust at the fact of their mother’s indiscretion with their neighbor five years earlier even if they wanted to go about it differently, and it was disappointing to both of them when Dean Sr. casually dismissed it and made it known that he was fully aware of his wife’s infidelity and that their arrangement was quite disturbingly fluid. I like when Dean and Stewart work together on something, and having Debbie encourage Stewart to loosen up or do something that Dean is trying to get him to do is always fun too.

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