Today I'm going to take my time to talk about how Rob Lowe is killing it on TV.
Not only is he back, but he's starring in comedic TV shows. I knew he had comedy chops when I was a kid since he was so funny as the bad guy in "Wayne's World", but before and after that, he appeared in pretty much straight dramas. He was on procedurals, in dramatic movies and was part of the "brat pack". He's always been a good actor, but I'm a comedy nerd and I love comedy. Those are my favorite types of movies and shows. If you can make me laugh in a 30 minute TV show or a 2 hour movie, I'll be your biggest fan. Hell, until recently, I used to stick up for Adam Sandler come hell or high water, but he's a nut job. That's another blog for another day though.
Recently, Rob Lowe has made me not only a fan, but his appearances on recent shows like "Parks and Recreation" and "The Grinder" have been appointment viewing in my household. I also hear very good things about the animated show "Moonbeam City" on Comedy Central. I haven't seen it, but I've heard that it's pretty good. It's a spoof of 80's cop procedurals and Rob Lowe voices the main character. I'll probably start watching it soon since Lowe is involved, and the good reviews don't hurt. But, let's first look at his role on "Parks and Recreation". Lowe, playing the super upbeat, super in shape Chris Traeger was so funny. His addition, along with Adam Scott turned "Parks and Rec" into a great show. It was already good, but those two made it great. When they joined, the dynamic was, Lowe was the good guy and Scott was the bad guy. They played city financial planners and one of them had to be the good guy. This role was perfect for Lowe. Not only is he very handsome, but he also seems like a genuinely nice guy. First, all the female characters would comment, playing it for jokes, about how attractive he was. They all thought that the happy go lucky thing was just a front, assuming that someone that attractive couldn't be this good of a person, but he's also a really good guy. He first approaches Anne, played by Rashida Jones, and at first she rejects him, but they end up together. They have a typical TV relationship, and when Chris eventually breaks up with her, he does it so nicely, she doesn't realize he's broken up with her. Rob Lowe does this to absolute perfection. He later dates Jerry Gergich's daughter, Millicent, and she actually breaks up with him because she thinks he's too old and can't keep up with her. This is a shock to the Chris Traeger character. He's never been dumped, but what's worse, in his opinion is, the fact that she didn't think he could keep up with her. He's the most in shape person in all of Pawnee, but he is getting older, and time always wins. This was an interesting spin on this character, because we, the audience, saw doubt in Traeger's eyes for the first time. Rob Lowe played this very, very well. He was sad, but the sadness was played to many laughs. It was excellent. He and Anne decide to have a child together in the second to last season. They don't want to date, but Anne wants Chris to father the baby since he's perfection in her eyes. And Anne is pretty attractive as well, so they both agree that they'd make beautiful children. She eventually gets pregnant, and after awhile, they decide to couple up again. They even talked marriage, but they decided that as long as they loved each other, they wouldn't need a ring to symbolize it. They moved to Michigan in the season six finale and Lowe plays this to tears and laughter. Anne has Leslie and we all knew that would be emotional. Chris, on the surface, seems to only have Ben Wyatt(Adam Scott), but it's revealed that Tom(Aziz Ansari), Andy(Chris Pratt) and even Ron(Nick Offerman) like Chris. They revealed that they will miss him, and give him a meaningful present as a goodbye. This was played to some tears, but it was mostly laughter. Rob Lowe was phenomenal on "Parks and Rec", and it put him back on my radar. I remembered his excellent work in "Wayne's World", and "Parks and Rec" reaffirmed that he could do comedy.
Early this fall, I saw commercials for a show called "The Grinder". It stars Lowe and Fred Savage. Lowe was an actor on an "SVU" type of lawyer show called "The Grinder" and Savage is his younger brother that is an actual lawyer. Lowe's show comes to an end and he moves back to his hometown to live with his brother and become a real, bona fide lawyer. I know, the premise sounds stupid, but this show is hilarious, and it's due to Lowe and Savage, mostly Lowe. It's nice to see Fred Savage act again because he's a pretty good actor. He's been directing a lot lately, but he's just as good in front of the camera as he is behind it. But, the star and main voice of comedy on this show is Rob Lowe. He's always narrating his life, asking ridiculous questions and some how, some way, winning unwinnable cases, just like he did on his TV show. Two things I really like that he does on the show are, one, whenever he's questioning someone about a case, he has sunglasses on and he slowly takes them off, a la David Caruso when he was on a cop procedural. Clearly this is the writers and Lowe poking fun at that, and it's hilarious. The other thing I like, he makes Fred Savage's younger son watch all the old episodes of "The Grinder" with him, and that's how the episodes start. It's Lowe and the son watching an old episode of his show, and them critiquing it. This is also, very hilarious. "The Grinder" is one of the better new shows to come on TV in awhile, and everyone needs to start watching it if you aren't already.
This brings me back to the reason for my blog today, and that's the fact that Rob Lowe is, quickly and easily, becoming one of my favorite comic actors and just crushing it in general. I know a celebrity of his fame doesn't need anymore accolades, but what he's doing right now requires some kind of recognition. Rob Lowe is a great comedic actor, and people need to realize it.
Keep doing what you're doing Mr. Lowe, because it's working and you are making weekday TV better with your roles.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man podcast. He thinks Rob Lowe learned comedy while filming "Schoolboy Father". Practice safe sex and follow Ty on twitter @tykulik.