From there, the pilot follows the expected route. Jimmy confronts his ex-girlfriend, and Gerald’s mother, Sara (Paget Brewster). We meet Edie’s mother, Vanessa (Christina Milian), who views Gerald strictly as a friend (Edie’s the result of a one-night-stand). Jimmy and Gerald bond a bit when Gerald asks him for help with Vanessa, and how to turn himself into a viable candidate to be her boyfriend. There is the requisite montage of the two talking about women (Jimmy talks of a past love and tells Gerald where the G-spot is) and a later requisite montage of Jimmy adorably bonding with his new granddaughter.
The entire pilot plays out exactly as you’d predict a sitcom with this premise would play out. Jimmy struggles to balance babysitting Edie with impressing celebrities at his restaurant, he has to choose between family or work, there are strange cameos (including, yes, a Full Houselink), something happens that forces Jimmy to immediately grow up and kick into paternal mode. He eventually learns to say the word “grandfather,” instead of stuttering it out in horror.
But despite being predictable — it’s a pilot, and we need this occasionally dull 22-minutes to introduce us to this world and these characters — Grandfathered actually stands out in this crowded comedy slate. Stamos and Brewster are, as always, great and have an easy, adorably hateful but secretly-in-love dynamic going on throughout. Stamos and Peck also have an easy chemistry as father and son. And Peck, perhaps best known for Nickelodeon’s Drake and Josh, has already proved himself to be a funny, capable comedian with great delivery and timing (see: The Mindy Project, in which he did great things with cringe-y writing and The Rebels, in which he did great things with a terrible script). He’s great here, shifting seamlessly between ecstatic father, wary son, and insecure young man trying to impress the hot girl, all in a way that works together to create an already-solid character.
It’s going to be interesting to see how Grandfathered develops after its pilot episode (reviewing any show on just its pilot is tough and unfair, but doubly so when it comes to comedy pilots), and whether it can find creative ways to go past the “Jimmy freaks out about being old/Jimmy has to be a grandfather AND a cool bachelor” plots. But Fox has done more with less — New Girl— and the pilot proves it has potential.