Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Grinder - Giving Thanks, Getting Justice

For the show's first Thanksgiving episode The Grinder jumps back and forth through the turbulent current Thanksgiving holiday and Dean's (Rob Lowe) crisis of faith during the Thanksgiving of his final year of making the show that made him a household name. Wanting to have a real family Thanksgiving for the first time in years, Dean meddles to arrange a dinner his brother wants no part of which eventually causes Stewart (Fred Savage) to explain why he hates the holiday, an unease which isn't helped by the arrival of Dean's surprise guest (Clyde Kusatsu).

Despite Dean's push to tell their father (William Devane) about their mother's affair with his best friend (whom Dean invited to dinner), neither brother is prepared for the full truth of their parents' open marriage the details of which neither wants neither has any interest in learning. The Grinder captures the messy fun of dysfunctional holiday episode while its flashbacks provide a pair of enjoyable cameos to Dean's previous life including Jason Alexander as the creator of the show and Timothy Olyphant (playing himself) as the friend who convinced Dean to walk away from the show.

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