The Michael J. Fox Show: Does He Still Have It?

Sep 26 2013, 9:06pm CDT | by TV Line

The Michael J. Fox Show: Does He Still Have It?
Photo Credit: TV Line

There’s a point in Thursday’s premiere of The Michael J. Fox Show (9/8c) where Fox, as former local news anchor Mike Henry, contemplates a return to the medium he left after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease years before.

“What if I’m not the guy they remember?” he uncertainly asks wife Annie (played beautifully by Breaking Bad‘s Betsy Brandt), the line an obvious nod to Fox’s own sitcom comeback.

It’s a valid concern. Fox was beloved as Family Ties‘ Alex P. Keaton and Spin City‘s Mike Flaherty… but hasn’t carried a series since City wrapped more than a decade ago. Can a half-hour comedy – in which Fox/Henry’s debilitating illness is a joke hit lovingly but often – match up to his previous successes?

You’ll let us know your thoughts on that in a moment; first, a short recap of the double-episode premiere.

RELATED | Michael J. Fox on His ‘Sexy’ TV Reunion With Wife Tracy (And Why Billy Vera Wasn’t Invited)

At the start of the pilot, Fox’s character is a stay-at-home dad whose micromanaging drives his family nuts. He finally agrees to go back to work at New York’s NBC affiliate but wants to avoid the anchor-overcoming-adversity angle. That proves tough, especially when his boss Harris (Treme) commissions a slow-mo, welcome-back promo set to Enrique Iglesias’ “Hero.”

But it’s not like Mike’s family is any less exploitative; teen daughter Eve (Juliette Goglia, Good Luck Charlie) unsuccessfully tries to pass off a lazy iPhone video about her dad’s “struggle” as an English project – thus setting up the characters-speaking-directly-to-the-camera interview device that continues into the second episode. Meanwhile, college-age son Ian (Conor Romero, Person of Interest) is back home after dropping out of Cornell, and youngest child Graham (newcomer Jack Gore) competes with his aunt Leigh (Katie Finneran, Wonderfalls) for who’s the less mature.

By the end of the first half-hour, Mike is back on the air with a piece that gets him booked on – and then bumped from – NBC’s Today. (Let’s hope the “Matt Lauer is a jerk” thing turns into a running gag.) But the slight setback doesn’t matter much when all of the Henrys sit down for a family meal, something Mike’s desired for a while.

PHOTOS | Fall TV Spoiler Spectacular: Scoop on 45 Returning Favorites!

The next ep finds Mike entranced by the Henrys’ new upstairs neighbor (played by Fox’s real-life wife and former Family Ties co-star Tracy Pollan). He likes that she makes him feel desirable, which comes across as a little bit disingenuous, given the fun, sexy married relationship Brandt and Fox establish in the pilot.

Mike and Annie invite neighbor Kelly to dinner with Harris; when the pair hit it off, Mike is displeased. The evening ends with the anchor apologizing to his perfectly lovely, very understanding spouse at an arcade adjacent to Times Square – the location comes about thanks to some secondary plots involving the kids. Plus, how else could the installment end with ball-pit funtimes?

At the end of the full hour, you come away with the sense that Fox’s comedic timing and presence are undiminished; he and Brandt, in particular, play off each other in a way that serves the series well.

That’s what we thought, but how about you? Grade the episodes via the poll below, then hit the comments to back up your choice!


Source: TV Line

/>
 
 
 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Helen Slater, Dean Can, and Calista Flockhart to boost Supergirl on CBS
Helen Slater, Dean Can, and Calista Flockhart to Boost Supergirl on CBS
CBS and DC reveal that Helen Slater and Dean Cain will appear this fall on "Supergirl" as Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist) battles Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart) and Hank Henshaw (David Harewood). And who is Supergirl's mom?
 
 
Star Trek's Renaissance Man Leonard Nimoy, dead at 83
Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek's Renaissance Man, Dead at 83
Leonard Nimoy passed away on February 27, 2015, at the age of 83 as the world mourns the loss of a beloved entertainer.
 
 
Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2014 Facts
Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2014 Facts
Everything you need to know about the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2014.
 
 
The Best Photos of All Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2014 Models
The Best Photos of All Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2014 Models
The sexiest runway show took place in London on Dec. 2. The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2014 was for the first time in Europe. The show will air on CBS December 9. See already now the hottest photos of all 45 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2014 models.