Growing Up Fisher

(NBC, Tuesdays 9:30/8:30 Central - Special Premiere Tonight After the Olympics at 10:30 PM)

Feb 23, 2014 Web Exclusive
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Growing Up Fishers' Mel Fisher is blind, but you wouldn't know it. Father and husband Mel (J.K. Simmons) has been blind since he was 12 but that hasn't stopped him from doing anything: driving, cutting down trees, meeting with clientsnone of whom realize Mel can't see. Mel's son, Henry (Eli Baker), is huge reason why he is able to get away with this. Henry functions as a high-end guide dog for his father, with Henry-as-an-adult narration courtesy of executive producer, Jason Bateman. When Mel and Joyce (Jenna Elfman) decide to get an amiable divorce, Mel finally allows the world to know he is blind, getting an actual guide dog. Joyce sees this as the opportunity to try everything: water bra, a pipe, pink skinny jeans identical to those worn by her mortified daughter, Katie's (Ava Deluca-Verley).

The quirky family sitcom is tricky venture, with more misses than hits. The nutty parents in Growing Up Fisher do a good job of playing their extreme characters, instinctually making their eccentricities acceptable and funny rather than far-fetched and excessive. In contrast, the Growing Up Fisher children are so grounded and adult, but play that off with a world-weary-ness that is engaging. Case in point this exchange between mother and daughter: Joyce: "Instagram, is that something I should doing?" Katie: "None of this is what you should be doing." (www.nbc.com/growing-up-fisher)

Author rating: 7/10

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