Trio of Likable Performers Elevate Generic Pivoting on FOX | TV/Streaming


“Pivoting” starts with a death. The fourth member of a group of friends has left them forever, sending them into the spiral of questions that often come with grief. There’s no more time to waste when your friend dies. People often find themselves inspired to finally check those items off the list of life that they’ve been procrastinating for years. Sometimes these decisions look strange to others, and may not always be the right ones, but “Pivoting” works from those emotional days when death of a loved one can make people leap before they look.

For example, Sarah (the charming Maggie Q) leaves her life behind as a successful M.D. to completely shift her career, going from the pressure of emergency rooms to what she thinks will be a simpler, happier life as a grocery store employee. None of this registers as remotely believable, but I’m hopeful that the writing will play with expectations that there’s such a thing as an “easy” job. Sure, being a life-saving doctor has a different level of stress, but people on their feet all day at grocery stores, especially during the pandemic, aren’t exactly coasting through life. Most of all, Maggie Q sells the unbelievable arc as best she can, especially in a second episode when she realizes her new co-workers kind of hate her.

Amy (Eliza Coupe) uses the tragedy to commit more fully to her role as a mother. In a way that’s kind of refreshing for sitcom television, Amy is what could be called a reticent mother to her seven-year-old boy and 18-month-old girl. We all want to believe that just having kids kicks in all kind of parental instincts, but that’s not always true. Her pivot is to be more present for her family, even though she kind of hates them.

Jodie (Ginnifer Goodwin) gets the most traditional pivot as she realizes she’s in a loveless marriage and starts flirting with her hot trainer Matt (J.T. Neal). Again, the writing here is a bit clichéd and thin, forcing the always-game Goodwin into some embarrassing flirtation scenes, but she does her best to sell them.

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