Monday, May 23, 2016

What I’m Watching: The Grinder (Series Finale)

The Grinder: Season 1, Episode 22 “Full Circle” (B+)

I thought that this show had a decent chance at a renewal, but unfortunately that didn’t happen, so this is it. I like that the opening moments of the episode solved the mystery of who was behind Cory Manler and the lawsuit against Dean Sr., showing each of the events that led Leonard the prosecutor, played by Kumail Nanjiani of “Silicon Valley” and “Franklin and Bash,” to plot the downfall of the Sanderson family. I suppose that’s exactly how the Grinder would have solved a case on the show-within-a-show that so humorously anchored so many of this show’s episodes, and therefore it was very fitting. The inexplicable, illogical twist that he had a twin brother was even more appropriate, and somehow the entire case got dismissed, which was great. Much like I lamented the underuse of one major female character on “Grandfathered,” I also think that both Mary Elizabeth Ellis (Debbie) and Natalie Morales (Claire) could have been featured more prominently on this show, and this episode gave a bigger spotlight to Debbie as she got drunk and then had to steal her children’s tape recorder back to try to cover for what she said. I do think that Hana Hayes and Connor Kalopsis were great as the kids on this show, and they played a pretty big role in this season. Best of all, Rob Lowe and Fred Savage were a strong pair, never missing a beat in their eternal battle between theatrics and logic. I’m sure Lowe will be back with another show soon, but I did enjoy him here.

Season grade: B+
Season MVP: Rob Lowe

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