Episodes: 13 (half-hour)
TV show dates: February 23, 2014 — June 11, 2014
Series status: Cancelled
Performers include: J. K. Simmons, Jenna Elfman, Eli Baker, Ava Deluca-Verley, Lance Lim, and Jason Bateman.
TV show description:
This single-camera comedy series was inspired by the real life experiences of executive producer DJ Nash and tells the story of an unusual family that’s drawn closer together after a divorce.
Mel Fisher (J.K. Simmons) chops down trees, teaches his daughter to drive, and plays football with his son. He could be considered a typical father — except for the fact that he’s blind. He’s a lawyer who prides himself on not letting his limitation limit him. He and his wife are getting a divorce.
In some ways, Joyce (Jenna Elfman) is like a typical immature teenager — she’s self-obsessed, busy with school and devoted to fashion. The only trouble is, she’s a full-grown wife and mother who has a young son and teenage daughter.
Joyce often seeks advice from her teenage daughter Katie (Ava Deluca-Verley) and also borrows her clothes, much to Katie’s dismay.
Son Henry (Eli Baker) is 11-years-old and has always been his dad’s eyes and wingman. The kid is less than thrilled when his job is outsourced to Mel’s new guide dog, Elvis.
While the boy is at first reluctant to accept the changes that Elvis brings, adult Henry (voiced by Jason Bateman) realizes upon reflection that his parents’ split finally allowed the Fishers to become one happy (divorced) family.
Episode #13 — Growing Up Fairbanks
Despite the fact Mel and Joyce are two signatures away from their official divorce, the Fishers take their annual vacation to Catalina Island together, with one minor addition: Jenny, since her mom’s out of town. Mel also vows to keep calm in the face of any strife in an effort to tone down the possibility of aggravating the whole family (which is what usually happens on vacation).
So when the hotel clerk sees Elvis and lies about losing their reservation, Mel shocks everyone by allowing it slide. But Joyce refuses to stay in the alternative hotel and, by working together, she and Mel manage to trick the hotel clerk into making a new reservation. The ruse pays dividends after the clerk realizes they know plenty of rooms exist at the hotel – not only does the clerk upgrade them to a suite, but she comps them drinks, food and massages.
Henry, Katie and Jenny opt for a more adventurous route – horseback riding, one of Henry’s biggest fears. The girls insist he give it a try and he does… only to immediately slip off and fall face first into a trough. He complains to his parents and eventually convinces himself to try one last time.
With the kids occupied, Mel and Joyce enjoy the relaxation long enough for a bittersweet revelation – they should probably sign those divorce papers. Their calm feeling of moving on morphs into total terror when they find the hotel room trashed by Elvis. Unable to face the desk clerk’s inevitable wrath, they sneak out of the hotel and snag the kids along the way – except for Henry, that is. He picks that very moment to pull himself onto the horse… and ride it right up to Jenny! His confidence soars and he makes his boldest move yet – Henry kisses Jenny, and she kisses him back! Mel and Joyce grin with pride – looks like everyone’s entering a new phase.
First aired: June 11, 2014.
What do you think? Do you like the Growing Up Fisher TV series? Do you think it should have been cancelled or renewed for a second season?