Tubin': Analysis, discussion and freak-outs about our favorite TV shows. See More...

Midseason TV: Enlisted

Emily and Mandy C. check out the pilot episode of Enlisted. SPOILER ALERT: FYA fave Chris Lowell does snarky as well as he does sweet.

Midseason TV: Enlisted

Welcome back to our midseason TV posts (a continuation of our fall TV series). As a reminder: We’re here to help you determine which shows are worthy of watching live, what’s OK to watch while folding clothes on the weekend, or what you don’t even need to bother with.

(Warning! Possible spoilers ahead.)


Premiered: Jan. 10 on Fox (Watch online.)

Elevator Pitch

A Fox executive leafs through a stack of pitches on his (or her) desk. After reading through each one, he (or she) throws it to the floor. An office comedy. No. Another dysfunctional family sitcom. No. A heroic underdog story. Boring. And a remake of MASH. Never going to happen.

When he (or she) gets through the stack, he (or she) stares helplessly at the pile that has accumulated on the floor and voila! A brilliant idea hits him (or her)! Combine them all, throw in three attractive actors—plus Keith David as the magic ingredient—and Fox's next great comedy is born!

Familiar Faces

Geoff Stults as Pete Hill

Parker Young as Randy Hill

Chris Lowell as Derrick Hill

Keith David as Sgt. Major Donald Cody

Faces That Might Become Familiar (If You Keep Watching)

Angelique Cabral as Jill Perez

Ron Funches as Private Huggins

Mel Rodriguez as Corporal Chubowski

Michelle Buteau as Private Robinson

Tania Gunadi as Private Park

Mort Burke as Private Gumble

Kyle Davis as Private Dobkiss

Ezra Buzzington as Private Swaggle

Baron Vaughn as Wallace

Redeeming Qualities

Emily: The cast is adorable. Geoff Stults, Chris Lowell, and Parker Young have stolen my heart as brothers, and I am split between wanting to be their little sister (even though I'm older than 2/3 of them) and dating all of them (which might be awkward if they were actually brothers). I think this show is a prime example of when chemistry amongst the actors works it can completely make a show. I also love the side characters. I think they have room to grow and shine, and almost make me want to join the army. But not quite.

Mandy: The idea of a band of misfits becoming a “family” isn’t a new one, but it’s a good one nonetheless, and I’m always up for a heartwarming story about the underdogs. It also doesn’t hurt that the show had some truly funny moments. Plus, Chris Lowell as a sarcastic screw-up? It’s such a different character from the perfect and (almost) always sweet Piz. I like it a whole lot.

It's Not Me, It's You

Emily: It's a pilot, so the actors are still finding their grooves. I've been told that the cast all went to a week of boot camp after filming the pilot so that as the season progresses, they have learned to be more army-like (is that a thing?).

Mandy: The cheese factor in Enlisted is high. Like uncomfortably so. I’m all for silly comedy, but when a show makes me feel awkward, I’m not laughing with it, I’m laughing at it. Also, I can see the potential in the relationship with the three brothers, but I’m not digging the crew of misfits they’re working with. It might have been because there too many soldiers to get to know in one half-hour show, but they all felt a little flat and stereotypical. I’d hope that in future episodes, these characters become more well-rounded and part of the team.

Let's Do This Again

Emily: I am a fan of this show. The humor is definitely on point, meaning that it's not necessarily clever or life changing, but it makes me laugh. There are surprisingly sweet moments that make this show have more heart than most comedies on air right now, and just as I'm rooting for the ragtag group of army underdogs to be successful, I'm also rooting for the show. I don't know if I'll be home Friday nights watching, but it is definitely first up on my DVR to watch with my Saturday morning coffee.

Mandy: I’m not going to give up on this show after only one episode. There were definitely a few moments at which I genuinely laughed and I enjoy at least two of the three brothers. (I can see Randy getting really annoying really quickly.) I’m not sure I’ll keep up with it, but it might be good to watch in large chunks on the weekend.

What did you think? Let us know in the comments!

Mandy Curtis's photo About the Author: Mandy is a small town girl living in a nerdy world, or—if you want to get literal—an editor/writer living in Austin, TX. In addition to yearning for YA books—the more dystopian or fantastical, the better—she can also be found swooning over superheroes, dreaming of The Doctor and grinning at GIFs.