• Network: NBC
  • Series Premiere Date: Feb 23, 2014
  • Season #: 1
Metascore
54

Mixed or average reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 26
  2. Negative: 4 out of 26
  1. Reviewed by: Alessandra Stanley
    Feb 21, 2014
    80
    Both shows ["About a Boy" and "Growing Up Fisher"] are well written and actually quite engaging, but what is most interesting is the focus on the brighter side of splitting up. It’s a new genre of heartwarming family show.
  2. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Feb 21, 2014
    80
    Two sweet, funny, even poignant dramedies ["About a Boy" and "Growing up Fisher"] launch on NBC this weekend, both helping midseason feel richer than the meager offerings of the network's fall slate.
  3. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Feb 21, 2014
    80
    Baker's adorable, but it's Simmons, as the hilariously confident dad, who makes Henry's a childhood well worth exploring.
  4. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Feb 14, 2014
    75
    Growing Up Fisher is a winning, welcome example [of a family sitcom], conceptually novel and solidly cash. [24 Feb 2014, p.37]
  5. Reviewed by: Lily Moayeri
    Feb 25, 2014
    70
    The nutty parents in Growing Up Fisher do a good job of playing their extreme characters, instinctually making their eccentricities acceptable and funny rather than far-fetched and excessive. In contrast, the Growing Up Fisher children are so grounded and adult, but play that off with a world-weary-ness that is engaging.
  6. Reviewed by: Laurel Brown
    Feb 24, 2014
    70
    Sometimes it's nice to have a fun, well-acted, pleasant sitcom both about and for the family.
  7. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Feb 21, 2014
    70
    Growing Up Fisher offers earnest, heartwarming stories about "a new kind of family," as ABC Family promos would call the divorced-but-still-friendly Fishers if the show aired on the basic cable network instead of NBC.
  8. Reviewed by: Michael Starr
    Feb 18, 2014
    63
    After a while it starts to feel a bit like “The Wonder Years,” with Baker in the role played by Fred Savage and Bateman as that show’s unseen narrator Daniel Stern, commenting sagely on how Mel and Joyce’s divorce has brought the family closer together in so many different ways. Still, Growing Up Fisher has potential, and Simmons tackles his role with good-natured authority, without descending into glibness.
  9. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Feb 24, 2014
    60
    Mel's eccentric independence is admirable and more often than not amusing--which isn't always the case for the show, which uses gentle but forced whimsy to deliver treacly life lessons from the perspective of preteen son Henry (Eli Baker).
  10. Reviewed by: Mark Dawidziak
    Feb 18, 2014
    60
    Here's where you'll find the saccharine avoided by "About a Boy." You'll also find the occasional trite twist and labored comic turn. Still, Growing Up Fisher undeniably jumps to life when Simmons is on the screen, which is quite a lot. That's what gives this underdeveloped newcomer a fighting chance.
  11. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Feb 21, 2014
    58
    Growing Up Fisher is no About a Boy, although at times it’s not half-bad. The relationship between the freewheeling Mel and wide-eyed Henry has its sweet spots.... Elfman’s Joyce, however, is an all too typical blend of aging TV mom striving to be young, cool and alluring again. Her clashes with sour teen daughter Katie (Ava Deluca-Verley) tend to get old in a hurry.
  12. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Feb 20, 2014
    58
    Good-hearted and gentle, Fisher struggles on the "funny" front.
  13. Reviewed by: Dalton Ross
    Feb 14, 2014
    58
    Growing Up Fisher is at once overdetermined and undercooked.
  14. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Feb 24, 2014
    50
    Simmons does his usual solid work in this role, and he's got all the physical comedy in the playing blind (and faking sight) bits. Elfman makes another solid statement that she should be in something much better (this coming off her fine work in 1600 Penn; she hasn't lost any comedy chops). Together they're just undermined by, well, syrup.
  15. Reviewed by: Vicki Hyman
    Feb 24, 2014
    50
    The writers try to imbue the narration with a sense of heartfelt nostalgia that came so naturally to a show like "The Wonder Years," but the contemporary setting and banal plotlines works against it.
  16. 50
    The creative failure of Growing Up Fisher is more distressing than the missteps of About a Boy because there would seem to be so much more potential there. These are characters that, in theory, you haven't seen before, but the show makes them feel too familiar.
  17. Reviewed by: Sara Smith
    Feb 21, 2014
    50
    Simmons, who was Juno’s dad and Brenda Leigh Johnson’s boss, is consistently funny and compelling, but the younger cast members haven’t settled into their roles yet, and the show doesn’t know what to do with them, anyway.
  18. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Feb 18, 2014
    50
    The show seems a pale imitation of "The Goldbergs," the much funnier ABC show created by Adam F. Goldberg based on his own childhood.
  19. Reviewed by: Erik Adams
    Feb 21, 2014
    42
    Thanks to Fagerbakke and fellow supporting player Lance Lim—who provides Eli Baker’s awkward Henry with a smooth-operating sidekick—there’s a lot to laugh at on the fringes of Growing Up Fisher. If only the brood at the middle of this family comedy were as sharply defined.
  20. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Feb 24, 2014
    40
    Simmons is great as he always is, but between the divorce, the mid-life crisis, the coming out as blind, the mother-daughter tension and the boy discovering his true self and The Importance of Family, there is simply too much to look at and not enough to see.
  21. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Feb 21, 2014
    40
    The problem is, like "Sean Saves the World" and "The Michael J. Fox Show," this show is formulaic, slightly frantic and relies too much on unearned sentiment.
  22. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Feb 20, 2014
    40
    The premise, in other words, lacks heft, which leaves not much more than admiring Simmons--a highly versatile actor — as he does what he can with gags about his character’s insistence on doing things like driving and cutting down trees.
  23. Reviewed by: Lori Rackl
    Feb 18, 2014
    25
    This miscast, tone-deaf family sitcom fails on multiple fronts, the biggest being J.K. Simmons’ nonsensical character: a lawyer and father of two who’s managed to hide his blindness from just about everyone.
  24. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Feb 21, 2014
    20
    I thought "About a Boy" was bad, but then I watched Growing Up Fisher and realized that things can always get worse.
  25. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Feb 20, 2014
    20
    On Growing Up Fisher, you don't root for Mel nearly as much as you wince for him.
  26. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    Feb 20, 2014
    20
    One of the worst comedy pilots of the 2013-14 season relies entirely on two-dimensional character tropes.
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 29 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 1 out of 8
  1. Mar 4, 2014
    9
    A show I can watch with my entire family and have a good time is a rarity anymore. My family loved the show. Can't wait for the next episode. And by the way, if you think Jena Elfman isn't hot then your eyesight is worse than the Dad on the show. Full Review »
  2. Feb 24, 2014
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. The show (as of 2/24/2014, after the pilot) has a lot of potential to grow. J.K. Simmons is plays a great father figure, and Eli Baker is as genuine as a kid character can get. Many of the secondary story lines including the apartment and the mom's attempts to find herself again are interesting, but fail to make as much of an impact as the main story line does.

    Hopefully the show stays around for more than 1 season because if the pilot is any indication, "Growing Up Fisher" is going to be an amazing feel-good television show.
    Full Review »
  3. Apr 21, 2014
    10
    Growing up fisher is heartwarming this show is a major difference to the people that have disable or not . just realize its okay to be different i need to realize it but still remember this - Luke Christian

    P.S Grade A+
    Full Review »