September 30, 2013

Michael J. Fox: Sad To Say, His Interview Is More Fun To Watch Than His New TV Show

I don't watch TV, except for the PBS NewsHour and Redskins football. But I made a special effort to check out the first episode of the sitcom series that stars Michael J. Fox portraying what he is -- a nice family man with Parkinson's. I turned it off after 15 minutes, and it seems my reaction was typical.

I went online to see what the TV critics had to say. I thought Time Magazine had the best review. The headline and subhead summed it up nicely:
Michael J. Fox Is Better Than "The Michael J. Fox Show."
An extraordinary star returns in a very ordinary sitcom.
Critics not only watched the pilot with the rest of us; they received tapes of the show's next two installments. Time's critic was kinder than I was, saying that while not hilarious, the pilot "was very promising."
This doesn’t need to be a sitcom all about living with Parkinson’s per se; it’s a sitcom about a man re-changing his life. Is he the same guy after years home with his kids? Does he want to be? Does he still have what it takes at work? Will it be weird? That’s a fertile conflict; those are stakes. It’s something that can fuel story and character and, let’s hope, laughs.
Unfortunately, he says, that idea just disappears in the next two episodes and what we're left with "is what worked least well in the pilot, a mundane, dated-feeling family comedy that feels like it's missing its laugh track."

Given Fox's huge talent, there's hope he'll revive the show. NBC has promised a full season run. But for now, I'll keep my TV turned off.

Howard Stern Interviews Michael
For my money, Fox is at his best when he's just being himself, as he is in this video clip from a recent radio interview with Howard Stern. Seems he and I share something more than Parkinson's: he talks about self-medicating with alcohol.

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