If you enjoy quirky family sitcoms such as The Goldbergs, The Middle and Suburgatory, this one might appeal to you, as well, because this is one quirky family.
J.K. Simmons, who starred in the recent mid-season replacement show, Family Tools, is now the head of the Fisher family in this mid-season series. He’s a strong-willed lawyer who doesn’t let any obstacles stand in his way, despite the fact that he’s blind. That means we see him cutting down a tree with a chainsaw, driving a bicycle and behind the wheel of a car. He also uses his son as a guide dog of sorts. That is, until young Henry is cast aside when dad gets an actual guide dog (named Elvis). The reason for the new member of the family is because dad is moving out. Henry’s parents are getting a divorce.
Henry’s mom is played by Parker Posey in the pilot but replaced in the series by Jenna Elfman (who is best known for playing Dharma in Dharma and Greg, but she, too, was in a failed sitcom this past season, 1600 Penn). Mom is going through a second adolescence (probably the biggest reason for the divorce), and she is trying to recapture those teen years to the constant frustration of her daughter, Katie (the least quirky member of the family).
It sounds as though the show should be called Growing Apart Fisher, but the aim of this series is to show how the family actually grows closer post-divorce. It’s a novel premise, and if you can get past the idiosyncrasies of the characters, this could be a fun show. The pilot manages to have wacky things happen without feeling as though we’re watching a silly show. If it can maintain its cleverness without resorting to silliness, this could have some wide appeal. The biggest problem this show has, though, is that many viewers are likely to dismiss it as a sitcom that wasn’t good enough to make the fall schedule, and they won’t bother checking it out at all.
TV Gord’s verdict: Limited success (might survive a full season)