If the brotherly relationships at the core of Fox’s new “Enlisted” ring true,there is good reason. According to star Geoff Stults, not only are the show’s main three characters “based loosely — or, make that pretty directly” on creator Kevin Biegel and his brothers, but Stults and his on-screen freres, Chris Lowell and Parker Young, also each grew up with brothers.
Now, says Stults with a laugh, “I treat those guys like my brother treated me. I’m a little brother in real life, but I get to treat Chris and Parker like mylittle brothers. I always wanted a little brother, but I never got one until they handed me Chris and Parker.
“Chris and I have that interesting dynamic where we don’t have a ton of the
same interests, but we just like being around each other. Parker and I are a
little more similar, personality-wise, and Chris is like your typical middle
brother,” he adds. “It’s weird, but I wouldn’t love Parker half as much as I do
if it weren’t for Chris being there, and the same thing with Chris. Those guys,
to me, they’re like a package deal.”
“Enlisted” could be the series for Stults. The handsome and charming actor, who
was born in Detroit, raised in Green Mountain, Co., and cut his teeth as a
performer at California’s Whittier College, has certainly done the series number
before. He was a regular on “7th Heaven,” “October Road” and “Happy Town” and as
star of Fox’s short-lived 2012 “Bones” spin-off, “The Finder.” Now he has the
same network behind his new comedy, about a war veteran who finds himself on a
stateside base in charge of a unit that includes his siblings, a pair of
They’re cute and funny enough to surmount obstacles including disbelief. Hey,
it’s a comedy. Make that a comedy that’s earning some laudatory reviews. While
Stults is not lighting celebratory fireworks or anything like that as yet, he
does have reason for optimism.
“I’ve been doing this enough now to realize that I have a pretty solid group
assembled around me — or, that I am one of a pretty solid group,” he says.
“Kevin Biegel was looking for a way to do a family story, and he also comes from
a military family — and it just kind of worked.” He’s enjoying working with
Biegel and fellow executive producer Mike Royce, “who are just about the nicest
guys in the business, which is great, but you need them to be talented, too, and
good at their jobs, and they are.”
“Enlisted” has also been termed a throwback to old school military sitcoms. Its
pilot engendered a certain amount of skepticism.
“You’re never going to make everyone happy.” Stults shrugs. “Critics are
critics and there are those that are particularly sensitive about the military
— and they should be. So should the military themselves. But the people who
were nervous about the pilot have seen subsequent episodes and realized that not
only have we not poked fun at the military, but we’ve gone out of our way to
show respect. I’ve heard people say they watched the trailer and hated it but
now that they’ve seen the episodes, they like it. This is a trend. It’s not just
a couple people.”
He goes on, “No. 1, we had to find the funny. Otherwise, we’re not talking
right now because we didn’t get picked up by Fox. And No. 2, we want to do right
by our servicemen and women, obviously. We wouldn’t be here talking if it wasn’t
for them, either.
“At the end of the day, it’s a family dramedy and it’s a workplace comedy set
at a military base. That’s a large workplace. There’s a lot of funny @#!$ that
happens in workplaces there are a lot of mundane silly things that happen in
workplaces, and a lot of relationship dynamics in workplaces — any workplaces.
As long as the military realizes that we’re not poking fun at them, they’re
going to enjoy it.”
He says, “I don’t worry about timeslots about lead-ins or anything like
that. We can only control what we can control — that’s what happened between
episode one and episode 13. We had a great time, we feel like we delivered a
great product. I love going to work and just laughing. Working with Parker and
Chris and Keith David and the rest of the cast, I feel like I hit the lottery.”