Saturday, March 26, 2016

What I’m Watching: The Grinder

The Grinder: Season 1, Episode 18 “Genesis” (B)

It’s an enlightening treat to see some flashbacks to fill in the blanks about how Dean went from not working after acting school to becoming the one and only Grinder. I appreciate the wealth of talent that this show has recruited thus far to appear in brief scenes of the show-within-a-show, and in this case we got a great TV star for the backstory of Dean’s real life. Jenna Fischer was one of the best parts of “The Office,” earning just one Emmy nomination over the course of the show’s entire run, and here she’s portraying a character very different from the sweet, sensitive Pam. Kelly was not at all supportive of Dean’s ambitions, and he was a shell of a person, defined only by his subservience and his poor choice of a haircut. His friend, played by the affable Chris Klein, who I came to really like from his time recurring as Drew on “Wilfred,” convinced him that there was no one better suited for the part, doing just what Stewart so often tries to do to motivate him to do what he thinks needs to happen. And Stewart and Debbie were totally supportive of Dean thinking for himself, with no threat of having the massive personality of the Grinder forever imposed upon them. In the present, Stewart and Todd did a poor job keeping their office ransacking a secret, though it was really a distraction more than anything else given the fact that no progress was made on the case against the elder Dean.

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