The Grinder

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
The Grinder TV Poster Image
Brothers try to bond in goofy but fun courtroom comedy.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Jealousy, sibling rivalry, family, and teamwork are recurring themes. Although Stewart is jealous of Dean's smooth-talking skills, he's happy to have his brother home, and the family as a whole shows patience and unconditional love. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Even though Dean bulldozes his way into his brother's practice, he wants desperately to belong and adores his family. Stewart is hardworking and patient with his sometimes frustrating sibling. 

Violence

Some arguing.

Sex

Occasional mild innuendo.

Language

"Hell," "douche bag."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Beer, hard liquor consumed. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Grinder is a comedy series about an out-of-work actor who returns to his hometown and ends up putting his TV lawyer skills to use at the family firm (to his nebbish brother's chagrin). The show contains some arguing, iffy language ("douche bag," "hell"), and some occasional sexual innuendo, but the overall content is mild enough for teens. Drinking (beer, hard liquor) is sometimes visible. Stars Rob Lowe and Fred Savage are clearly having fun here, and it's not a bad bet for parents and teens to watch together. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byChrisD 2 November 5, 2015

Brothers who are complete oposite make this show pure hilarious

Ok so I have stuck with this show from the beginging and its only getting funnier I love it however there are a few issues with content "some language the... Continue reading

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What's the story?

THE GRINDER is a comedy about Dean Sanderson Jr. (Rob Lowe), a TV star who spent eight years playing a lawyer known as (what else?) "The Grinder," and his brother Stuart (Fred Savage), who's an actual attorney. Now that the series has ended, Dean finds himself back in his home town of Boise, Idaho, with his brother and his family, including his wife, Debbie (Mary Elizabeth Ellis), and their kids, 15-year-old Lizzie (Hana Hayes) and 13-year-old Ethan (Connor Kalopsis). While Stuart steadily grinds through each of his cases in hopes of building his reputation in the courtroom and eventually taking over their father's (William Devane) law firm, Dean uses his celebrity status and dramatic persona to intervene in his brother’s professional and personal life. Despite being at odds with each other, they soon discover that they make a great -- albeit unconventional -- team that is committed to the pursuit of justice.

Is it any good?

Despite the unrealistic premise, the show's formula combines some good writing and well-timed comedic performances to create some laugh-out-loud moments. Lowe takes his character just far enough to be obnoxiously funny without being silly, gliding on his usual charm, while Savage offers the balance and understated humor that makes their on-screen relationship work.  

There's some courtroom language, but the overall series isn't meant to be cerebral or take itself too seriously. Instead, it offers a fun way to understand the relationship between two brothers who have lived very different lives but somehow have found each other again. Ultimately, if you're looking for an entertaining half hour of TV viewing, there's a good chance you'll find it here.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the idea of returning home after a long time away. Do you think your family would be happy to have you back after you've left? Why, or why not?

  • Families also can talk about "faking it to make it." The Grinder doesn't really know what he's talking about, but he speaks convincingly. Is this a useful skill, or is it deceptive?

TV details

For kids who love funny sitcoms

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