36. 3rd Rock from the Sun

Creator: Bonnie and Terry Turner
Years: 1996-2001

A pretty easy premise (aliens come to Earth to do research, pretend to be humans) that does well for itself due the willingness of the writers and actors to be goofy without relying on a ton of easy jokes. That said, I’m not a huge fan of the cast. French Stewart does nothing for me; his shtick is one-note and adds nothing. And while I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt now, I found his comedic timing to be wanting as a teenager. Kristen Johnston is okay.

Why I watched much of the show, though, is John Lithgow. Two days in a row I get to talk about how impressive he is whether he’s doing drama or comedy. Like Christopher Lloyd, he’s fantastic at both blunt and subtle physical comedy. And he really dives into this role. Jane Curtin plays off him pretty well, too.

2 thoughts on “36. 3rd Rock from the Sun”

  1. My brother and I used to watch this when my parents were out and about (they despised this show), and we used to just laugh our butts off.

    I do have to agree, though, French Stewart is just bad, and much as I love JGL, this mostly just kept him in the game so he could do much better stuff later. This show lived and died on Lithgow, and most episodes, that was enough.

  2. French Stewart is a blight on humanity. Do I know anything else he’s in? I’m not sure I do.

    I loved the Lithgow/Curtin scenes. Great chemistry there. I wasn’t much for this show, but it was on at a convenient time between shows I loved in college, so I probably saw the majority of it.

    The girl who played JGL’s love interest (both in this, and in 10 Things I Hate About You) is a good friend of my friend Todd. She doesn’t get much work anymore, but has never stopped trying. Acting is a hell of a thing.

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