Plot: Mike Henry (Michael J. Fox) was once at the top of his game as a news anchor for NBC news. But when he’s diagnosed with Parkinson’s, he commits all his time to his family. When he has a spontaneous run in with his friend (and an NBC boss) Harris Green (Wendell Pierce), he convinces Mike to come back to the spotlight.
While NBC may be lowest in ratings, I hope the premiere of The Michael J. Fox Show will earn the network some good buzz. Not only does it have a household name in it with the titular star, but it’s pretty funny and witty, and it’s also got a lot of heart.
Tonight’s introductory episodes not only focused on Mike and his disease (being played for mostly comedic effect-the sex jokes were hysterical), but his surrounding family, who are all instantly likeable. There’s his wife, Annie, played by the fresh off the Breaking Bad set star, Betsy Brandt. Brandt made Annie very deadpan and her chemistry with Fox is undeniable, so she’s a great fit for the role.
I also found Conor Romero’s Ian Henry to be hysterical, especially in the second episode, where he pines for a possible lesbian friend of Mike’s daughter Eve (Juliette Goglia). His Dance Dance Revolution moves and groove speech had me rolling.
When the show’s trailed debuted, I was worried that it would focus too much on Fox’s Parkinson’s as a running gag. The writers poke fun at it a lot, but the jokes actually hit more often than not, and are used at clever expense and not just for cheap laughs. Kudos to Mr. Fox for actually letting them poke fun at his disease.
And then there’s the man himself, MJF. Fox, despite his being over 50, looks incredible and his comedic timing is still as good as it ever was. The man is undeniably charming and his return to TV allows him to be himself with everything intact, which makes the show all the more endearing.
It was a quick hour, and I have to admit, thankfully, the show was better than I thought it could be. I would’ve watched it regardless, but ultimately, I look forward to watching the program every week. The jokes range from snickers to belly laughs, the cast is really good, there’s emotional depth, and I had a great time with it.
Just hoping that the show lasts long enough for a Christopher Lloyd cameo.