I wouldn’t doubt that The Michael J. Fox Show feels tremendous performance anxiety. Expectations run high whenever a big-name star like Fox makes a comeback, of course, but add to that how desperately NBC needs a reliable performer on Thursday nights (or any night, for that matter), and you’ve got more riding on your shoulders than most sitcoms ever have. It’s clear that NBC would like MJF to be the network’s answer to ABC’s Modern Family, and that’s a lot to live up to. I can’t speak to how MJF will perform for the network; Thursday’s episode, “Art,” took a sizable ratings dip, but it’s not impossible that the series could pick up a bigger audience as the season goes on. But as the show seeks out that audience, it seems to be having some trouble figuring out the kind of show it wants to be, and if it doesn’t get a handle on that, it’s going to dip in quality as well.
Sorry to disappoint, Braverfans, but I’ve decided that I won’t be reviewing Parenthood on a week-to-week basis this season. It was a tough call to make, but reviewing three Thursday-night series in a timely manner is nearly impossible for me at the moment, given work obligations. Also, because Parenthood tends to develop its stories so slowly, I’ve realized that it would make more sense to review it via the occasional check-in rather than doing so on a weekly basis.
That said, I’d like to dedicate at least one weekly review to a drama, and given my schedule, my interest, and its shorter episode run, I think American Horror Story: Coven is going to be the one. Expect to see that review up on Thursday, October 10, the day after its premiere, and for me to check in on Parenthood somewhere around episode 4 or 5.
Meanwhile, expect a new Brooklyn Nine-Nine review tonight, followed by New Girl tomorrow, and some Michael J. Fox and Parks and Recreation later in the week.
Somewhere in the world, there’s a small town where the citizens adore their perfectly symmetrical civil servants (who look a lot like Heidi Klum) and sculpt beautiful statues made of goat cheese in their honor. Unfortunately for Leslie Knope, that town is in Denmark and not Indiana. In Pawnee, serving your community means scraping slime off of highway underpasses, driving (some, not all) slugs away from mean old ladies’ houses, and having your constituents hate you for everything you’ve done to make your hometown a cleaner, healthier, more livable place.
What a bunch of pee-pee heads.
Has there been an actor in the last thirty years with broader appeal than Michael J. Fox? I mean that in the best way. Immediately likable, charming, unthreateningly handsome, quick with a snappy one-liner. What’s not to like? He’s Alex P. Keaton! He’s Marty McFly, for crying out loud! So it comes as little surprise that, after a long Parkinson’s-induced break from demanding film and television roles, he would return triumphant to anchor a series that looks to be every bit as likable as he is.