Hey TV.com, Should I Watch Enlisted?

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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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.
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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.
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Jan 11, 2014
Is that seriously what you're going to base your opinion on?
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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.
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Jan 10, 2014
I'm hoping Enlisted will be as quirky as my #1 sitcom - Brooklyn Nine-Nine
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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)
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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.
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Jan 10, 2014
So...Sgt. Bilko, then?
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Jan 10, 2014
Will the alternative title be 'How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The IED'?

No, didn't think so.
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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.
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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.
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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...
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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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Jan 10, 2014
I get what you're saying Tim. Sometimes when I watch a sitcom I may sparsely laugh, but while watching it it just makes me feel good, they have a 'unique charm' and are 'pleasant', as you say. That being said, while this sort of television might be good for a person every now and then, a 'pleasant' show is not what I'm willing to tune in for each week, especially if I'm supposed to be laughing.
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Jan 10, 2014
The real question is how many episodes will air before cancelation?
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Jan 10, 2014
This piece that Tim wrote obviously didn't make it past the first draft and that last paragraph is a complete mess.
As far as the show goes? Hmm, let's see....Fat jokes? Stereotypes? On-the-nose dialogue? I didn't find one thing funny in that trailer. Also, the Army thing? Ugh.
The only thing worse then an "Army TV series" is an "Army-base-based comedy series".
No thanks.
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Jan 10, 2014
Reading the synopsis I am thinking is this going to a modern day Bilko ?
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Jan 10, 2014
I was hesitant based on the description, but the thing about Keith David having a white guy fake leg made me laugh until my eyes were watering. So while that may make me a bad person, I am totally down for this show!
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Jan 10, 2014
Can't we watch a show about the shirtless Italian
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Jan 10, 2014
I'm only sorta interested. I really dig the Stripes vibe, but I'll hold off until it airs a handful of eps to buzz or not to buzz about, y'know?
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Jan 10, 2014
I love the cast. I was in even before skimming your opinion.

Shitty time slot though. I love shark tank.
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Jan 10, 2014
What are the chances that 3 brothers would all happen to be stationed at the same base? I hope the show doesn't make fun our service men & women who actually are deployed overseas. It's my understanding that Rear Detachment isn't necessarily comprised of people who can't cut it on deployments, but rather whose training & skill set leads them to "holding down the fort". Not everyone in the military gets deployed. Not every sailor is stationed on a ship or sub. If that were true, the US navy wouldn't have a base in Nevada.
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Jan 10, 2014
I was hoping Parker Young was going to portray a different type of character, so we might be able to gauge his acting range; however, finding out his character is going to be similar to Ryan Shay is both a disappointment and encouragement: we might not see his range, but we will see him doing what he does beset... acting like a lovable idiot.
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Jan 10, 2014
I'm not sure. I'm torn. It looks interesting and if it didn't have Parker Young in it I defininatley would. I loved him on subagory and part of we hopes the show is cancelled so he can go back on subagory with Tessa.
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Jan 10, 2014
Of course I will watch, especially after surviving two hours of Lone Survivor - the greatest war/combat movie since Saving Private Ryan. Enlisted has got all cast members of my liking.
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Jan 09, 2014
"I wasn't a fan of Scrubs," Tim said, throwing his credibility out the window.
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Jan 10, 2014
To be fair, you have to admit Scrubs had a very wacky sense of humor and that it wasn't for everyone. Hell, Zach Braff isn't for everyone. And I say all of this being a big fan of Scrubs.
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Jan 10, 2014
All very true. *sigh* I suppose Tim's credibility remains intact.
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Jan 09, 2014
Will wait until it's cancelled/renewed before deciding.
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Jan 09, 2014
It looks like a great fun light hearted show I think I'll take a peek see if I like it to keep watching week in and week out
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Jan 09, 2014
Maybe if I get time.
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Jan 09, 2014
I'll try it out. The number of sitcoms I like are fading, so even if it's not HAHAHAHA funny and mostly just hehe funny, it might be good enough to stick around in my schedule, even if just for the seemingly nice cast.

I seem to be in the middle in regards to your comparison, as I liked Scrubs a lot but didn't care for Cougar Town.
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Jan 09, 2014
I am giving it a show and, well, it has to give Fox credit for actually pairing Raising Hope with something that sounds kind of like the same tone. Imagine for all of you who enjoyed these materials if Cougar Town and My Name is Earl had been paired together. Totally different worlds, but the vibes strike me as similar. Raising Hope will generally make you smile and every once in while chortle your beverage and I kind of expect the same from this one. It won't tear me away from Grimm, but it is getting recorded and I will watch it.
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