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Fall TV Review: ABC’s Back in the Game Has Solid Chemistry—But There's a Catch

Back in the Game ABC/Kevin Foley

Forget Supernanny! James Caan is your new go-to destination for amazing parenting advice.

If a 10-year-old gets a black eye? Tell him to grab three beers and put one of them on his eye (drink the others).

If your daughter gets her first period? Tell her to "walk it off."

And if you suddenly have to flee the country, a solid childcare choice is your baseball team's mascot. Duh.

ABC's new fall comedy Back in the Game's greatest strength is Caan's ridiculous inappropriateness as "The Cannon," a wildly unfliltered father and grandfather who recently welcomed his daughter (Maggie Lawson) and her son Danny (Griffin Gluck) back into his home.

Lawson, who Psych fans know well, has great chemistry with Caan, and their heated and hilarious banter pops right off the screen, even in the first episode. Gluck is also incredibly appealing, lacking a single cutesy bone in his body, which gives the show added grit.

So what's the catch?

READ: ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. got decent ratings...Understatement!

Back in the Game (ABC)
Premieres:
Wed., Sept. 25
Competition:
Fox's The X Factor, CBS' Survivor: Blood Vs. Water, NBC's Revolution and The CW's Arrow
Cast:
Maggie Lawson, James Caan, Griffin Gluck, Ben Koldyke and Lenora Crichlow

While Game's casting and writing is solid, the premise might not be unique enough to score a sizeable audience. Lawson stars as a recently single mother who moves back in with her dad (Caan) following a failed marriage, and there are a slew of new fall shows reuniting grown children and their parents this season—The Millers, Mom, Dads—not to mention last season's failed How to Live With Your Parents. They're all starting to bleed together in our mind. Game also goes the "group of misfits" route, as Lawson's character volunteers to coach her son's team, comprised of all the kids who didn't initially make it into the league. It all feels formulaic and a little "been there, done that." A shame really, given how much they nailed the casting and tone of the show.

Still, we recommend you check it out.

FINAL VERDICT: DVR it. Or heck, even watch it live if you have nothing better to do (*ahem*Arrow*ahem*) while waiting for Modern Family.

TWITTER: Follow @kristindsantos for TV scoop!

PHOTOS: Check out all the new series debuting this fall!

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