There's a reason Michael J. Fox is a TV legend.
Tonight, Fox makes his return to prime-time TV with The Michael J. Fox Show on NBC. The series has a lot of promise, mostly stemming from Fox's uncanny ability to light up any screen he's on, but we're a little worried that the show won't figure out what it is in time for viewers to catch on completely.
The Michael J. Fox Show (NBC)
Premieres Thursday, Sept. 26 at 9 p.m. (with the second episode airing immediately after)
Time-Slot Competition: The Crazy Ones (CBS), Glee (Fox), Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
Cast: Michael J. Fox, Betsy Brandt, Juliette Goglia, Katie Finneran, Wendell Pierce
Status: We've seen the first two episodes.
Fox plays Mike Henry, a former news anchor who left his job because of his Parkinson's disease. After being a stay-at-home dad for years, his wife (Brandt) and his children think it's time for him to get back to work. In fact, they are desperate for Mike to get out of the house. So much so, that they rig a meeting between Mike and his former producer Harris (Pierce), which leads to him going back to work.
The best part about The Michael J. Fox Show is Michael J. Fox, who is still as sharp, sarcastic and on-point as ever. That's what makes this show so likable, even though the jokes about his Parkinson's might make some viewers uneasy. Brandt going from Breaking Bad's Marie to this role is fun to watch, so she's another cast standout, along with Finneran as Mike's sister.
The family dynamic is entertaining, as long as Fox is involved, but when he's not, the scenes can fall a little flat. The show has a mockumentary style that comes off a bit confusing, but if the show can figure out where that fits in, it's golden. It's striving to be Modern Family, when it should be working on highlighting its strengths.
Verdict: DVR. You'll love Fox in this series, but it's not worth a live-view quite yet.
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