The ever-plotting, parent-manipulating Parker Lewis returns as late season filler in what has to be a difficult timeslot for Fox, but this topsy-turvy, sometimes surrealistic sitcom gets an “A” for effort, even though there are some noticeable growing pains in the show’s second term.
Season-opener examines the rite of passage in buying a first car, with Parker (Corin Nemec) bypassing practicality for a convertible.
Pushed by quick cuts and off-center closeups, the original, surreal feel of the opening scene of the car-buying unfortunately fades as the episode motors along.
Plot joke wears thin of Parker doing the opposite of everything his goofy, possibly ether-addicted father (played perfectly plastic by Timothy Stack) says or suggests.
The script is lively but has rough edges, particularly in scenes not involving Parker. Much is lost when this central character is not taking viewers along, staring into the camera reassuring viewers that, yes, the others are all crazy but we’re sane.
Show takes a risk in relying on audience acceptance that Parker is high school age. The character is ready to be sent to college, where Nemec’s refined comedic skills — he can easily hold the screen and smirk forever — might truly blossom.
Sunday slot at 7 p.m. is an uphill battle for this no-parents-allowed party. With more practice and a more equal playing field, Parker Lewis just might score some points for Fox.