The premiere of Grandfathered begins, as any show starring John Stamos should, with Stamos checking himself out in a mirror and tweezing a stray gray hair. Ah, Uncle Jesse is back. Except instead of Uncle Jesse, he’s actually Grandpa Jimmy now — but I’m getting ahead of myself here.
Jimmy leaves the restroom and parades around the restaurant he owns, schmoozing on customers — particularly females — at any given chance. “Don’t get me wrong, I love my life,” he tells one woman, “But I’d give it up just like that for a family.” But as soon as the words escape his mouth, everything stops on a dime when he notices a family with an infant at the hostess stand. He doesn’t relax again until they’re been turned away; no children allowed here.
Needless to say, when Gerald (Josh Peck) shows up in the restaurant the next day claiming to be Jimmy’s son, Jimmy is none too thrilled. Gerald produces a photo of Jimmy with his mother, Sara, from 1989 at a Jane’s Addiction concert, which they had to leave early because Jimmy “refused to go number two at the club.”
“You didn’t have much in common, but what you did have is a whole bunch of unprotected sex,” Gerald says. Before Jimmy can process the news that he has spawn, Gerald whips out his daughter Edie, who has been chilling in her stroller that Gerald apparently chose to hide from Jimmy to soften the blow.
First word Jimmy says in front of his granddaughter? “F—!” Well, presumably — Fox cuts straight to the opening credits. Our ears are shielded, but not poor Edie’s. Jimmy loses his cool and delivers a much-too-honest speech about whether he really wants a family or not — in front of the entire kitchen staff and the aforementioned new family members. He gives Gerald his business card and sends him on his way. Ouch.
When Jimmy notices the disapproving looks from his employees, he chases the kid and attempts to salvage the situation with an apology. He then asks to hold Edie, calling her “it” in the process and looking severely uncomfortable.
Jimmy then goes to see Sara (Paget Brewster) for the first time in 26 years and loses his s— on her doorstep. Which is kind of understandable considering that she withheld the not-so-minor detail that their relationship produced another human. His main concern during this rant: “What if I were gay and I met him at a bar?” He’s a rational guy, this Jimmy. Sara sassily scoffs in his face, playing the over-protective mom. “If you hurt my son or his daughter, I will choke you to death with your own overly moisturized hands.” Ooh, zinger.
Jimmy finds Gerald in the guesthouse, where he is 3-D printing a rubber ducky and teaching his daughter West African French (“It’s the fastest growing language in the world. Mandarin’s for suckers.”). He made the decision to find his father, Gerald says, based on a Buzzfeed listicle called “28 Reasons Why Having a Dad is the Best.” Christina Millian waltzes into the room, and we meet Gerald’s baby mama, Vanessa, who has friend-zoned Gerald so hard that it’s painful to watch. She leaves with Edie, and then Gerald reveals a more legitimate reason for wanting to meet his father: He needs to convince Vanessa to date him.
If Jimmy is hesitant to step into the father role, he has no problem with acting as love guru. “Women are complicated,” he tells Gerald. “They want men to come in and take what’s complicated and un-complicate it.” (Uh, he might actually be better at parenting.) He goes on to map out the mysterious location of the G-spot.
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After taking a picturesque stroll through the park — during which Gerald reveals that he has no job but does things like create diaper tutorials on Youtube and Jimmy changes the wrong baby’s diaper — Jimmy has a movie night (Kramer vs. Kramer) with his son and their ex. Jimmy is feeling pretty smug; look at him being a parent! What a breeze!
The next day, Gerald shows up at Jimmy’s restaurant to announce that somehow Jimmy’s awful female advice has proven successful; he and Vanessa are hanging out that night, and could Jimmy please watch Edie?
Babysitting seems to be going surprisingly well — Edie gives her grandpa a kiss and everything — when Deion Sanders, Lil Wayne, and Don Rickles (the trifecta) show up at Jimmy’s restaurant. So naturally the best solution is to build a playpen in the kitchen and juggle being a restaurateur with being a grandfather who’s supposed to be in charge of a child’s well being. It’s not working. Edie keeps crying, and Grandpa Jimmy can’t get his ducks in a row. Then he notices she feels warm, and uses a meat thermometer to rectally take her temperature — “103, that’s normal, right?” When the kitchen staff patiently inform Jimmy that no, that isn’t normal, he takes the kid and runs with her in his arms to the ER — through traffic à la Kramer vs. Kramer.
After handing Edie off to a doctor — who he tells, “You look a little young for a doctor, can you get someone older? Asian if you got it.” — Jimmy apologizes to Sara for being the same old screw-up. Sara is surprisingly forgiving, so Jimmy takes the opportunity to hit on her. She says quite firmly that it’s never going to happen, but I’m calling it now — Sara and Jimmy are going to happen.
It turns out Edie is fine, and the episode wraps up with a family dinner at Jimmy’s posh home, where Gerald finds that Jimmy is hanging on to the photo of himself with Sara. Oh, yes. Sara and Jimmy are definitely going to happen.
What did you think of Stamos’ return to television and Fox’s newest sitcom? If you still can’t decide, maybe Stamos can convince you: