TV Show Review – Growing Up Fisher


Here Is TVRating:  3 (out of 5).  “Growing Up Fisher” is a new half hour sitcom on NBC that stars J.K. Simmons as Mel Fisher, a legally blind attorney.  No one, however, except his family knows that he is blind as his son Henry serves as his guide at home, while his brother guides him at work. The show also stars Jenna Elfman as Fisher’s soon to be ex-wife who is looking to reclaim her youth. The series also features a voice over narrative as the adult voice of Henry, played by Jason Bateman.  Most of the reviews range from luke-warm to ice cold.

The Los Angeles Times thinks there is too much going on in “Growing Up Fisher”.  They say “there is simply too much to look at and not enough to see.”

Variety doesn’t think this series has “much of a future.” They say in spite of the talent of J.K. Simmons, “there’s not much creative inspiration to be found.” They also think the adult narration “feels slightly off given the contemporary setting.”

The Washington Post  says that they thought “About A Boy” was bad, but after watching “Growing Up Fisher” they realized “that things could always get worse.”

The San Francisco Chronicle thinks “Growing Up Fisher” has ” a ring of authenticity. But it also has some problems.” They don’t see any chemistry between Elfman and Simmons and say “The age difference between the two actors is noticeable only because it underscores how ill-matched they are here.”

Newsday has some doubts about the success of the series.  They think that something is missing and it “feels derivative – a “Wonder Years” for a whole new generation of viewers who don’t even know what a “Wonder Years” is, instead of feeling authentic.”

The New York Times calls the show “engaging” and “well written”.

Growing Up Fisher immediately establishes itself as a zany, troublesome dad kind of show ” says The Kansas City Star. They don’t think it will last long though “if it doesn’t quickly find something to do with this family.”

Entertainment Weekly calls it “cute” but “boring”.  They say the show is a ” naughty-heartstrings show in the Modern Family tradition, set in a universe where adults are all goofballs and the kids all have the personalities of sassy twentysomethings, but somehow the episode still builds to a Moment of Sweetness.”

The Philadelphia Daily News is convinced that “Growing Up Fisher” is missing its mark. They say ” It’s clear that Growing Up Fisher is going for a warm Wonder Years vibe. But the premise is a nearly insurmountable challenge.”

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette calls the premiere “sweet but-not-saccharine”. They say it doesn’t give any big laughs, but it is funny enough, and it ” offers earnest, heartwarming stories about “a new kind of family.”

New York Magazine thinks that there is “something fundamentally false” about the series.  They say ” There’s much in the series that’s simply puzzling — or maybe evidence that the creators succumbed to network notes demanding that every character be more “likable” — such as the fact that Mel and his wife Joyce (Jenna Elfman) just got divorced even though there’s no apparent reason why they’d even dislike each other.”

The Denver Post calls it a” sweet, funny, even poignant dramedy.” They also give the show kudos for being “smart and rather endearing.”

The New York Post thinks the series has “potential’ and says that while it ” doesn’t rewrite the sitcom playbook, it does boast a winning cast (both human and canine) and keeps things light without spiraling into saccharine sentimentality.”

The Cleveland Plain Dealer is charmed by J.K.Simmons and say he is ” without question, the one big-fun reason to give this uneven rookie comedy a try.”

The Chicago Sun-Times simply says ” This miscast, tone-deaf family sitcom fails on multiple fronts.” They think ” The comedy would need to be irreverent and edgy for this to have the slightest shot at success. Instead, it goes for a sappy, feel-good vibe with a “Wonder Years”-like voiceover by Jason Bateman.”


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