'Brothers' are each other's keepers in new Fox comedy


We can go home again, but doing so usually means that adults revert to acting like kids.

Such is the case in Fox's Friday sitcom, "Brothers." The new season's only network live-action comedy about a black family, the show revolves around brothers Mike and Chill (former NFL star Michael Strahan and Daryl "Chill" Mitchell, "Ed"). The moment they're together, they're bickering and teasing the way only siblings can.

Chill cracks wise about using a wheelchair. He picks up Mike at the airport in Mike's Bentley, retrofitted with hand controls.

"This used to be a car; now it looks like a cappuccino machine," Mike says as Chill screeches forward then stalls. "Is it safe for you to drive this car?"

"Yeah, but I ain't got much to lose," Chill says. "You better buckle up."

Chill teases Mike about the gap in his teeth. "You know what you should do to your front teeth? Introduce them."

Strahan plays a former football player whose business manager ripped him off. He has nothing left except this house, which, as his mom (CCH Pounder, "The Shield") reminds him, is in his parents' name. Dad (Carl Weathers, "Rocky"), called "Coach" by everyone, appears to be suffering from early dementia, though his libido is fine.

While comedy often springs from sorrow, a disabled man, a broke athlete and a father facing debilitating memory loss doesn't automatically equate with hilarity. The pilot, like so many, has jokes that feel as if the writers were waiting to use them, such as when Coach tells Mike he's like a mix of a Jehovah's Witness and an agnostic: "You ring the bell, but you've got nothing to say."

Still, what works on the show and is obvious in person is the bond of genuine friendship between Mitchell and Strahan."We're in a happy place," Mitchell says.

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