Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s Disease Is Hilarious
No, Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease is not hilarious like, say, Rush Limbaugh thinks it is hilarious. Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease is hilarious because, Mr. J. Fox wants you to know, it is like any other character trait. It makes him a little clumsy! It makes it kinda hard for him to speak sometimes! Sometimes his shaky finger hits the wrong button and accidentally dials 911, doh! It does not make him want to bone his wife any less, or make him less of a dorky dad, or make him a fucking hero and national treasure. He’s just a guy! A guy who happens to be thought of as a hero and a national treasure, and will you please stop it already you are embarrassing him jeez!
Michael J. Fox plays himself, pretty much — he plays a New York newsman who’s left his career because of his Parkinson’s, and can’t walk down the street without someone telling him he’s a goddamn hero and a national treasure. The show makes jokes about how he is short, and “Caroline in the City” (because Lea Thompson played his horny mom in Back to the Future, get it, get it?), and brings in his real-life wife, Tracy Pollan, to play the upstairs sexy neighbor, on whom he would like to do some sex but he will not because he is Michael J. Fox, great dad and husband and good decent guy and oh by the way fucking national treasure.
The thing is, “The Michael J. Fox Show” is really funny. Really. With the exception of his loving and solid wife (Betsy Brandt, “Breaking Bad”), he is surrounded by a family of human garbage. The daughter’s an asshole. The college dropout son’s an entitled dickhead working on his Google-slayer: youhyphensearchdotnet. The little boy is fine we guess. The sister, an Us Weekly freelancer, is a nightmare of vapid egotism, and she is GREAT. (Almost as great: his boss, a genial manipulator who just wants to get it wet, played fabulously by Batiste from “Treme.”) The writing is sharp, and a little mean, and rarely heads into the kind of broad sitcom-y tropes you would expect from the guy who starred in “Spin City.”
So here is what you do: watch it! We had 10 solid laughs — hard laughs, surprised laughs! — per episode. Then, when you are two-minutes from the end, turn it off. That is when the “I learned a lesson about how much I love my family” glurg starts. You do not want the glurg. You want Michael J. Fox making fun of Michael J. Fox, and Parkinson’s, and his human garbage family. Also, and not for nothing: Michael J. Fox looks fucking terrific.
National treasure and goddamn hero, you know the drill.
“The Michael J. Fox Show,” 9 and 9:30 p.m. this Thursday; 9:30 p.m. after that. NBC.