New show has humor but little heart

A witty show, Enlisted is overshadowed by its forced, supposedly heartwarming scenes

When tough guy Sergeant Pete Hill (Geoff Stults) is sent back to his roots after going against authority, he reunites with his two brothers, the sarcastic Derek (Chris Lowell) and ultra-sensitive Randy (Parker Young). Now what was just described might sound like a completely clichéd character description, and that’s because it is. Derek is the exasperated middle child, and Randy is the (seemingly) neglected youngest who can’t control his feelings with his oldest brother. The brother bonding scenes come off as forced and awkward. With such talented actors as the three leads are, the writers shouldn’t feel the need to box them into character archetypes. Let their natural humor shine through and begin working on what this show really lacks: a whole lot of heart.

Enlisted is so witty it’s almost snarky. And some of the jokes land. But what this show is missing isn’t humor, it’s the ability to make the viewers feel compassion for the characters and their heroic actions. When the three brothers rescue a dog for an army base family with a father overseas, we are supposed to feel the heartwarming moment. It’s almost as if the Hill brothers are watching themselves with their own mother. Then the youngest Hill has ruin it by actually saying what we are all thinking. By the end of the first episode, we don’t need more jokes; we need to feel something deeper than laughter.

Simply put, there is nothing special about this show. While the military background could create interesting storylines in the future, it seems a little insensitive to joke around while being shot at in Afghanistan, much like the first scene of the pilot. The actors and the script are trying too hard to sell this brotherly love. I recommend watching it on Fridays when there is nothing else to watch. There are enough new midseason shows to consider watching without this one being put in the mix.

Enlisted air Fridays on FOX.

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