The Grinder’ is one of the better new comedies of the fall season


Three and a half stars

The Grinder Tuesdays, 8:30 p.m., Fox

Rob Lowe proved himself to be a surprisingly strong comedic performer during his four seasons on Parks and Recreation, and his charm is the biggest asset of the goofy, lightweight sitcom The Grinder.

Lowe plays vain but likeable actor Dean Sanderson, who spent nine seasons as the star of a popular legal drama and decides that it’s given him the necessary experience to practice actual law. He moves back to his Idaho hometown and inserts himself into the legal practice of his younger brother Stewart (Fred Savage), who’s lived his life in Dean’s famous shadow. Lowe and Savage have a relaxed brotherly chemistry, and the show has fun playing with legal-drama conventions.

The family sitcom material is less effective, although that could develop over time, especially as the joke of a TV lawyer practicing real law inevitably loses its novelty. For now, it’s clever enough to make The Grinder one of the better new comedies of the fall season.

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