Surviving Jack: I’ve Survived So Far…

Surviving Jack (Photo: Fox)
Surviving Jack (Photo: Fox)

…and other obvious, yet true, headlines concerning FOX’s Surviving Jack.

This will be brief:

Mike was wrong.

Easiest review ever!

More, you demand? Fine, then – a few specifics. Surviving Jack is not the funniest thing ever put on screen. It’s sometimes typical, but rarely (I actually think never) hackneyed. Christopher Meloni… I can watch that man deadpan for days.

I get why many (beloved editor included) weren’t wowed by the pilot, but the biggest (totally valid) complaints – the female characters being non-entities, the constant 90s music substituting for writing – largely fades as the series progresses. Both wife and daughter get much more to do in episodes after the pilot and Rachel Harris and Claudia Lee are nailing everything. In fact, I would say that the trim tautness1 of the pacing and delivery is a) well handled by almost the entire cast and b) what gives this show its particular flavor.

While the comedy never quite reaches the heights of the funniest stuff on Enlisted it makes up for it with way way more consistency. And like that (now canned? I think?) delightful little show, Surviving Jack mixes in heartfelt storylines without becoming sappy. There’s some good acting, some solid writing, and – and maybe this is where Mike and I really differ – a collection of 90s nostalgia that is omnipresent but not intrusive.

If you never started watching, or ditched after the first episode – granted, not the strongest thing the series has had to offer – consider dipping back in on any episode other than the homecoming dance. That one has plenty of fun (and funny) stuff to it, but it’s thinner than the rest.

This show could easily go off the rails – by becoming too wacky, too sappy, too dependent on Meloni when the whole family has stuff to offer – but it’s chugging along just fine right now.

Surviving Jack broadcasts at 9:30/8:30c on FOX or streams on Hulu.

  1. I know! Such verbiage. And alliterative as always.  

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About Aaron Mucciolo 206 Articles

He does things. That’s all we can say at this time. E-mail: mooch@whatelseison.tv