The Michael J. Fox Show
NBC, Thursdays 9/8 Central
Sep 26, 2013
Issue #47 - September/October 2013 - MGMT
There is perhaps no one so universally loved as Michael J. Fox. Such is the esteem the general public holds for him that The Michael J. Fox Show, in which Fox plays Mike Henry, a beloved news anchor returning to work after a Parkinson's-enforced lay off, was snapped up for 22 episodes by NBC before the pilot was even recorded.
In a way this is an awkward show to watch. Similar to Ricky Gervais's Life's Too Short, the show asks us to laugh at the central actor's actual real-life misfortune. For Warwick Davies falling out of a car in Gervais's show, substitute Mike's shaking hands dropping mashed potato everywhere.
The difference between the two shows is that The Michael J. Fox Show genuinely loves its characters as much as the audience loves Fox. In all honesty, the show is too nice, too sweet, and too wholesome to truly provoke enough laughs to compensate for the slightly awkward moments. The effect seems to be telling us that it's okay to laugh, perhaps setting us up for more close-to-the-bone material down the line.
Fox aside, the show boasts some strong performances which should hold it up through the weaker material, for a time at least. Juliette Goglia as his daughter Eve Henry shows promise in dealing with lines that are often a little saccharine and on the nose. Breaking Bad's Betsy Brandt has some of the better material as Mike's wife, but the real stand out is Wendell Pierce (The Wire) as his slightly-too-pushy boss. (www.nbc.com/the-michael-j-fox-show)
Author rating: 6.5/10
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