Fox premieres the new comedy "Brothers" with two back-to-back episodes, which does the show no favors. The first episode (8 p.m., WPGH) is not great but there are a couple of funny moments and it's fun to see CCH Pounder, so tough on "The Shield," back in a comedic role.
But by the 8:30 episode, the novelty of Pounder as a funny mother is gone, and it becomes abundantly clear the show has nothing to say and the writers are already spinning their wheels. ("Dad forgets his wedding anniversary" is one of the plots in the second episode.)
Retired pro football player Mike Trainor (Michael Strahan) returns home to Houston, Texas, to help his brother, Chill (Daryl Chill Mitchell), run the family restaurant. Chill is jealous of Mike's celebrity and has other resentments toward his brother that result in much squabbling and at least four joking references to the gap between Strahan's teeth ("All my teeth are next to each other," Chill says.)
- When: 8 and 8:30 p.m. Friday, Fox.
When: 8 and 8:30 p.m. Friday, Fox.
Their parents, Adele (Pounder) and Coach (Carl Weathers), face their own challenges: The first episode also includes a plot, played for laughs, about Coach becoming forgetful and repeating things, intimating he has Alzheimer's or early onset dementia. The show also pushes the Funny When Old People Say It button when Coach discusses the kids on his football team.
"When did men start shaving their widdly-dos?" he asks. "I walked in the shower the other day, and it looked like a bunch of giant 5-year-olds, and that's creepy."
The always likable Mitchell often comes off like a petulant, childish whiner in these two "Brothers" episodes, but he's still a better actor than Strahan, a retired football pro who's been dabbling in acting in recent years, and the writers seem to tilt the show in Mitchell's direction, giving him more to do. Not that there's much point in any of their efforts: "Brothers" will be canceled sooner, not later.
Contact TV editor Rob Owen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1112. Read the Tuned In Journal blog at post-gazette.com/tv.