So the quick premise is that the main character, inventor Alex Riley, has had a bunch of significant moments in his life, and three in particular — once as a kid moving from Chicago to L.A. when his mom got remarried, once as an adult catching his wife having an affair, and once as an older man having a heart attack. In the opening episode of the series, you get to see each of the three events unfold, with some basic links between them.
For those who saw This Is Us last year, this is a similar take, except it is focused on one man. As a kid, he’s played by relative newcomer Jack Dylan Grazer and there is a very strong The Wonder Years feel to it. The kid is good, the dad is fine, Mom and the new brother are difficult to watch. And that’s going to be a problem for the series — seeing this age have the same gravitas as later-in-life segments.
The middle age version is played by Bobby Moynihan, and most people would recognize him from Saturday Night Live. I’m not an SNL watcher, maybe some highlights now and again, but oddly enough his voice sounded familiar. Cruising through his bio, I see he was the voice of Chet for Monsters University, and I think that’s why he seemed familiar to me. An odd link, I must say. And to be frank, he’s not bad here, he’s just not particularly great in Ep 1.
The old version is played by John Larroquette, and while I would love to love him, as much as I used to on say Night Court, this character seems bland to me. Perhaps in part because he has nothing much to do in the episode, he’s at loose ends. At least for the other two, you know how it turns out in part at least by seeing where the older versions are at in their life. But the oldest version of Alex is just drifting.
Which is a pretty good summary of the show too. Drifting. I’m not hopeful CBS will keep it past its initial commitment.