‘Enlisted’ Premieres with Great ReviewsBy: Rachel Kolman - January 11, 2014
Fox Network’s newest comedy, Enlisted, premiered this past Friday and looks to be off to a great start. The show is being dubbed as a “workplace comedy,” albiet one that takes place on a military base instead of a traditional office, and focuses more on three brothers living and interacting with each other than on war.
In the show, Sgt. Pete Hill is sent back home from overseas for punching out a lower-ranking Colonel. In his fall from glory, he’s put in charge of a platoon in the Rear D unit on Fort McGee, Florida. In this platoon are his two younger brothers: Derrick, the smart ass, and Randy, a much more sensitive and fragile type. The platoon is dubbed as “not quite good enough to be sent overseas, yet not bad enough to be kicked out of the Army. These are the men and women who mow lawns at the base, sort mail, wash tanks, find lost dogs and maybe engage in a war game or two.”
Show creator Kevin Biegel tells TV Guide that he hopes the show will be an honest portrayal of the men and women serving their country. “The people I know who do this job…they’re real human beings and they’re very funny and they talk about their work and their job is sometimes crazy and sometimes boring and sometimes wondrous and sometimes inspiring.”
Critics have been quick to spot the show’s unique portrayal of military life, one that strays from Hollywood’s typical portrait. Robert Lloyd, LA Times TV critic, says the show is really “soft and romantic at its core. It could as easily have been set in a summer camp or a ballclub. But the military theme works well, as it pays due respect to those who only wash and mow.”
There’s also something to be said about the great chemistry between the three brothers, making it as much a family comedy as a “military workplace” one. Forbes reviewer Merrill Barr writes that the show is essentially built on the way the brothers interact with each other and their platoon. “This is where Enlisted finds the one thing that was going to make or break the series: charm. Pete is a fish out of water, Derrick is a cynical mess and Randy is a lovable buffoon, and through those highly different personalities, Enlisted makes the audience care about the misplaced men in green.”
Entertainment Weekly reviewer Samantha Highfill agrees that the show’s strength its all in the characters. “I’m already falling for some of these people,” she writes. “Whether they’re playing war games or just trying to do some jumping jacks, I can see how these characters are going to work together moving forward, and I’m excited for what will come next.”
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