It’s not straightforward pulling off “senior humor” in a medium, and a style, that caters to a youthful viewers.
So should you’re in search of groundbreaking tv in the brand new Fox sitcom, “The Cool Youngsters,” you gained’t discover it. However what you will see that are 4 sitcom veterans who do their finest with predictable materials — and, for essentially the most half, handle to tug it off with out breaking a sweat (or trying too foolish).
The sequence, from Charlie Day (“It’s At all times Sunny in Philadelphia”), groups dependable TV warhorses Vicki Lawrence, David Alan Grier, Martin Mull and Leslie Jordan as 4 seniors residing collectively in Shady Meadows, an upscale-ish retirement dwelling in Arizona. The conditions are what you would possibly anticipate, however the writing exhibits some witty flashes and the solid, notably Grier, seems to be having fun with themselves (which at all times helps).
Because the sequence opens, three retirement-home friends — opinionated Hank (Grier), teller of tall tales Charlie (Mull) and the flamboyant, diminutive Sid (Jordan), are mourning the loss of life of their pal and dining-room tablemate Jerry. The fellows suppose they’re the slickest and coolest in the house (they’re not, after all — this can be a sitcom, and that’s the joke). Enter Margaret (Lawrence), whose no-nonsense, take-no-prisoners perspective finally wins the fellows over and, earlier than the primary creaky-joint joke, she’s a member of the interior circle.
Within the opener, Margaret proves that, beneath her robust exterior, she’s received a young coronary heart; in Episode 2, the fellows take her out to a hip bar to cheer her up (she’s depressed as a result of it’s her 65th birthday).
The dialogue is a bit risque at occasions (nothing too dangerous, however nonetheless) and there are nods to the #MeToo motion, mansplaining, gender politics and racial profiling (when the 4 pals, with Hank driving, are pulled over in a automobile borrowed by Margaret).
Grier is the strongest of the 4 Shady Meadows denizens — each as a personality and as a performer —and Mull, who’s received a TV resume courting again to the late ’70s, wants extra to do. He’s too good of a performer to be given short-shrift. Lawrence (“The Carol Burnett Present, “Mama’s Household”) is at all times good; at occasions it seems she’s pulling the odd anticipatory smirk a la Jerry Seinfeld on “Seinfeld,” however she finally settles in comfortably, as does Jordan (“Will & Grace,” “American Horror Story”), who handles the majority of the bodily humor.
The writing on “The Cool Youngsters” is hit-or-miss, and I might ratchet down the hyperactive snicker monitor (at all times annoying). However the solid is interesting sufficient to beat these quibbles, and the sequence will air on Friday evening, which community execs understand isn’t precisely a ratings-grabber. We’ll see.