The half hour moves along briskly, sprinkled with a slew of funny lines and throwaway reactions and a few knowing winks at TV conventions--though not so many winks that they pull you out of the story. And through it all you have the pleasures provided by Lowe, Savage, Ellis and Devane, who mesh seamlessly.
The Grinder has fun with the concept, kicking it around with wry contempt, then picking it up off the ground and dusting it off and studying it for a moment, then deciding it might be a fun challenge to see if they can make people care about a character, and a concept, that's not only played out but stomped flat.
It’s a clever enough idea--or at least a serviceable one--primarily to give the leads an excuse to play off each other. Lowe also has the mix of casual egomania and well-trained earnestness down to a science.
There's just no jokes here, no characters worth spending time with and nothing beyond one iota of a clever hook that becomes as disappointingly protracted - before the pilot is even done - as the worst cutaway gags in "Family Guy."