Third-episode verdict: Enlisted (Fox)

The BarrometerA Barrometer rating of 3

In the US: Fridays, 9pm, Fox

Three episodes in and things aren’t quite as funny as they were in the first episode of Enlisted. The set-up is pretty much the same as before – hero soldier gets sent back home to the same base his less dedicated/competent brothers are stationed at, where he has to give up the ways of war in favour of the ways of looking after soldiers’ families while the soldiers are off fighting war.

The only difference – apart a new dedication on the parts of the producers to get military details right – is the writing’s dropped off a bit. Episode two had an almost laugh-free 10 minutes to start, before thankfully recovering the funny towards the end, while episode three was pretty consistent all the way through, just not as funny. Most of the humour now revolves around the semi-flirtatious, semi-serious professional rivalry between hero soldier and his female opposite number, as well as the inept youngest brother (Parker Young from Suburgatory) and his intense efforts to be a real soldier, despite his complete lack of talent, but that all works quite well. Unfortunately, everything that involves pretty much everyone else largely receives a stony silence.

I’m enjoying it and it’s consistently one of the funnier shows each week, but it’s not quite the quality comedy I thought it was during the first episode.

Barrometer rating: 3
Rob’s prediction: Fox want it to work, which is why they’ve shifted its timeslot, but it’ll be touch and go whether it lasts past one season.


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.

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