Hey TV.com, Should I Watch Enlisted?

By Tim Surette

Jan 09, 2014

The 2014 midseason is loaded with so many new shows that no sane person could possibly keep up with all of them. Lucky for you, I am cray to the zay and I can be your eyes and ears on the... screen, helping you figure out what's worth your time and what deserves a table for one in your garbage can. Today we're looking at Fox's new Army-base-based comedy Enlisted. I've seen the first two episodes, and I'm about to serve up some spoiler-free advice in another edition of Please Tell Me What I Should Be Watching, TV.com!

Enlisted, so this is a show about... things being enlisted?

Ummm... sorta. It's about an Army sergeant named Pete Hill who's punished for insubordination (he punched his commanding officer) with a new assignment at Rear Detachment, an Army base in Florida where soldiers who aren't currently deployed in combat work on maintaining the grounds, washing tanks, and performing other menial tasks. Essentially, it's where the Armed Forces rejects go while the cool guys get shot at have fun. And it just so happens that Pete's two not-as-competent-as-he-is brothers are also stationed at the base. For lack of a better comparison, it's Stripes or Police Academy without the police part.

Who created the show, and what actors have been drafted into it?

Cougar Town co-creator Kevin Biegel is the colonel of Enlisted, and he's brought on executive producer Mike Royce (Men of a Certain Age) to help out. Geoff Stults (The Finder) plays the disgraced eldest brother Pete, Chris Lowell (Private Practice) plays the sarcastic middle bro Derrick, and Parker Young (Suburgatory) plays the well-meaning but dim young brother Randy. Keith David and Angelique Cabral also star.

When does Enlisted deploy?

Enlisted ships out Friday, January 10 at 9:30pm on Fox. It's paired with Raising Hope, and will be up against the second half-hours of Grimm, Shark Tank, and Hawaii Five-0. And yeah, you might want to be worried about that less-than-desirable time slot.

Who will support these troops?

The show is, for the most part, a television equivalent of Bill Murray's Stripes, with its misfit crew of outcast soldiers. But Biegel's voice is strong here, and the fast-paced beats of Scrubs and Cougar Town also lead the march in Enlisted. The show is also unapologetically sweet, so anyone who's tired of takedown or asshole humor should dig it.

What fine-tuned, funny-bone-tickling machines are fighting for Enlisted?

Enlisted has a Delta Force-quality cast, particularly in its trio of leads. Parker Young should be the most decorated, though. He brings so much puppy-dog earnestness to the role of dunce brother Randy, who isn't all that different from Young's scene-stealing Ryan Shay in Suburgatory. And Keith David, who plays the base commander, is his usual booming self. There's a lot to like about the setting as well, if only because it doesn't involve an apartment or an office. The result is a show that is instantly charming and pleasant.

What parts of Enlisted should be court-martialed?

I used the word "pleasant" above for a reason. The jokes... they're just not HAHAHA funny. You'll crack a smile, and the speed with which they're delivered will keep your smile in place, but show just doesn't ever evolve beyond that. But hey, I wasn't a fan of Scrubs or and Cougar Town's not really for me, so if you like Biegel's other work, your mileage may vary.

So, should I watch it?

If keeps up its routine after the Basic Training of its first two episodes, I probably won't continue to watch, as it doesn't break into that upper tier of comedy for. But even Enlisted isn't the funniest thing out there, it has a unique charm that'll make you want to tune in. It's important to note that other critics are calling it one of the best new comedies of the year, so it appears to be one of those shows that you just have to try out for yourself. Hey, if you don't like it, at least it's not a felony to desert!

Let's take a look at a trailer!

You got it!

Enlisted premieres Friday, January 10 at 9:30pm on Fox.

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  • MissMunchkin Jan 11, 2014

    Every time I see a show like this, I have a small hope that something like MASH is on the way. But I just don't get that feeling here. MASH was hilarious with some seriously dramatic moments. This looks like all heart, few laughs, and nothing too serious going down. I guess after the failure of Go On, which was the closest to bringing drama into the comedy ground, comedy shows are of course going to be wary of heading into that territory, but I loved MASH. This just doesn't seem up to par.

  • thanatos34 Jan 11, 2014

    I caught a short clip of it on a TV show and caught 3 things that weren't within military standards. I probably won't be tuning in.

  • christiangian Jan 11, 2014

    Is that seriously what you're going to base your opinion on?

  • thanatos34 Jan 11, 2014

    I'm fine with a wacky comedy but at least get the background details right. Scrubs at least had real medical jargon and procedures included in the show. If they made everything up that would take you out of the show.

  • annySauv Jan 10, 2014

    I'm hoping Enlisted will be as quirky as my #1 sitcom - Brooklyn Nine-Nine

  • annySauv Jan 13, 2014

    ~ ummm, NO!, I couldn't even watch it to the end sorry Enlisted, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, its all you baby :) and you made me happy with your 2 surprise Golden Globe wins last night. P.s. Enlisted, you won't last long on Tv (boring)

  • numberonecubsfa Jan 10, 2014

    "But hey, I wasn't a fan of Scrubs or and Cougar Town's not really for me"

    Someone goofed up on the "and/or" front there.

  • shocker713 Jan 10, 2014

    So...Sgt. Bilko, then?

  • wudntulik2know Jan 10, 2014

    Will the alternative title be 'How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The IED'?

    No, didn't think so.

  • wudntulik2know Jan 10, 2014

    Will they be featuring any real life wounded vets to show what military life is like after the chuckles stop?

    No, didn't think so.

  • JT_Kirk Jan 10, 2014

    Going to maybetown with this one. Holding it back for midseason on Fox is a death knell already, but it being only cute-funny with a relatively soft cast is not an encouraging sign.

  • ludoTV Jan 10, 2014

    Fox is premiering this show on a Friday night at 9.30pm after the struggling Raising Hope. Doesn't this indicate that Fox has rather low expectations for this show? On that timeslot it feels like a step away from cancellation and so not sure if I'd want to start watching it... Shame as Geoff Stults is a nice guy and deserves to have a show that does well...

  • TrevPlatt Jan 10, 2014

    I doubt it'll be as good as Bluestone 42,but I liked Scrubs and I like Cougar Town and the cast looks great so I'll definitely be giving this one a chance.

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