The Grinder Season 1 DVD Review
Rob Lowe carries the cheesy “The Grinder.”
The plot: Having played a lawyer on the beloved legal drama “The Grinder” for 8 seasons, actor Dean Sanderson is unsure of what to do next. Since his father and younger brother (Stewart) both hold jobs in the legal system, Dean wants to be part of that world to even though he is only an actor who has only picked up some knowledge of being a lawyer from the show. Regardless, he winds up assisting his father and brother’s firm. Although Stewart is initially annoyed and perhaps a bit jealous by Dean, he discovers that they both help each other out in times of need.
Over the course of the first and only season’s 22 episodes, viewers can expect to see plots about court cases, “The Grinder” show’s parallels to Dean’s real life, Sanderson family drama, employees of Sanderson & Yao firm (namely Claire and Todd), Dean trying to hit on Claire, Dean’s fame, a spinoff TV series called “The Grinder: New Orleans” (starring Timothy Olyphant), Dean working for a rival law firm, Claire dating Olyphant, a malpractice suit, Dean’s therapist, and flashbacks of Dean’s past.
If “The Grinder” sounds like a corny one joke show that’s because it is. The short lived Fox Sitcom feels positively archaic compared to more sophisticated comedies ala “Master of None.” With that said, the show is infinitely better than most network comedies for one reason- Rob Lowe. His portrayal of the overly dramatic and confident Dean works from the first second he is on screen. He steals every scene he is in, he fully commits to the role, and he makes the show watchable. In fact, had “The Grinder” show within a show been the entire series, it would have been far more amusing than what we got.
Rob Lowe aside, there are other elements that stand out here. Not only are the episodes helmed by known directors such as Jake Kasdan, Jay Chandrasekhar, Nicholas Stoller, but there also a ton of notable guest stars like Christina Applegate, Kumail Nanjiani, Timothy Olyphant, Maya Rudolph, Chris Klein, Jenna Fischer, and Jason Alexander. Speaking of the guest stars, it must be said that Jason Alexander (who plays “The Grinder” show creator) and Timothy Olyphant (who plays himself as the star of “The Grinder” spin-off) are both memorable here. They definitely livened things up. Again, I wish the show had been more about the show within a show or a behind-the-scenes look at it.
Presentation: 1.78:1. How does it look? The glossy looking network show looks good even on standard def.
Audio Track: Dolby Digital 5.1. How does it sound? The dialogue and music sound solid. No more, no less.
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