Sara Snoddy // Contributing writer
Fans of his Full House days might be a bit surprised by John Stamos’ newest role as the suave restaurateur, Jimmy Martino, in Fox’s newest comedy-hopeful, Grandfathered. Jimmy has it all, but he’d “give it all up just like that for a family.”
Or at least it’s worked as a great pick-up line.
While facing star-studded evenings at his restaurant amid competition from rival culinary Bistro 6, the busy man is granted his ‘wish’ when his adult son Gerald, a scruffy grown-up Josh Peck (Drake & Josh), literally strolls into his life with a baby in tow.
Cue the panicky inner monologue turned “I can’t believe I’m talking out loud” awkward conversation, throw in Jimmy’s inability to call himself the dreaded G-word, and you have the first half of Grandfathered.
The casanova soon finds that Gerald and baby Edie, the accidental product of a long-lost relationship, live in a guesthouse on his ex’s property. Sara Kingsley, played by a fun Paget Brewster (Community, Criminal Minds), is the quintessential “one that got away” who defends not telling him about Gerald due to his commitment issues—and then threatens to choke him to death with “his own overly-moisturized hands” if he hurts her family.
Stamos, looking very fine at 52-years-old, seems ironically comfortable in his new role despite his character’s obvious discomfort. He and Peck are an easy comedic pairing, but it’s the weird nostalgia—this is a pilot after all—between Jimmy and Sara that is the most exciting aspect of the show going forward.
Brewster’s role is a self-aware antithesis to the doting mother type without losing that maternal drive or love, resulting in a not-too-edgy character that is refreshing. You sympathize with her when she claims that parenthood is “pretty much an endless string of moments where you think you’ve killed your kid.” And when she discusses how she almost went to Coachella, you’ll wish you could go with her.
What begins as a hackneyed comedy about a cad—the fatherhood/grandfather bomb in the restaurant was a bit much—actually ends up humanizing Martino. When Edie gets a fever while he’s babysitting, which led to her being barricaded in the restaurant kitchen and spending a night in the hospital, Jimmy realizes that he’s actually starting to care about someone other than himself.
Recently in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Stamos expressed his delight over the great chemistry he has with his co-stars. And it’s the chemistry of this cast that really makes Grandfathered a show worth watching.
Grandfathered airs Tuesday nights at 8/7c on Fox.
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