Third-episode verdict: Grandfathered (US: Fox)

The BarrometerA Barrometer rating of 2

In the US: Tuesdays, 8/7c, Fox
In the UK: Not yet acquired

What a disappointment. Of all the comedy pilots that have aired so far, Grandfathered was the one that showed the most promise. It sees aging bachelor lothario John Stamos discover that not only is he the father of a son who takes more after his mother (Paget Brewster) than him, he’s a grandfather, too. Stamos rapidly has to learn from scratch how to be both father and grandfather, while juggling the responsibilities of running his restaurant as well as trying to fit in his partying lifestyle and perhaps even woo back Brewster.

It sounds bad, but thanks to Stamos, ‘one that got away’ Brewster, and a smart script, the pilot episode was both funny and charming. Unfortunately, the show has slowly descended into almost precisely the show that you think it’s going to be from the description I just gave. Stamos’ character starts to become a bit of a dick, while Brewster loses all the spunky indieness that made her so good in the pilot and simply becomes a smothering mum. And girly man Josh Peck stops becoming simply a man who’s good at parenting and becomes a mummy’s boy who needs to man up.

Brewster and Stamos are both giving it all they’ve got, so the fault clearly lies with the variable scripts, which still maintain a veneer of intelligence and charm but not enough to really lift the show back to where it began. The romance is still there between Stamos and Brewster, and they have a real chemistry together. The references to past careers have fortunately shifted from Stamos to Brewster, who got to play the ‘Which Friends character are you?’ game in the latest episode (hint: the actual answer was Kathy with a k)

But it’s just reverted too much towards standard sitcom stereotypes and writing for me to recommend it any more. I might keep watching it, just for Brewster, but I’m not as sure as I was when the show first started, and if it gets any worse, I will be out quicker than a father intending to abscond and claiming to be in need of a six-pack of beer.

Barrometer rating: 2
TMINE prediction: Probably dead by the end of the 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.