Every show about brothers needs a dad, and if the real thing isn’t available, a kindly sergeant major will do in a pinch.
On the FOX Friday comedy “Enlisted,” Keith David plays Sgt. Maj. Donald Cody, who served with the late father of soldier brothers Pete, Derrick and Randy Hill (Geoff Stults, Chris Lowell, Parker Young). Cody promised the brothers’ father that he would look after them, so he brought them all to his command, Fort McGee in Florida, to fulfill that pledge.
“I love stories about sons and fathers,” says David to Zap2it, taking a break from rehearsing a play in which he stars as famed singer and actor Paul Robeson. “On one level, we don’t have enough mentoring from dads, generally speaking.
“Although this is by no means a documentary or some kind of in-depth character study about men and their relationships with their fathers, we do touch on it in ways that are sometimes comical and sometimes quite poignant. That certainly attracted me to the part.
“In the journey to manhood, there are a lot of issues that need to be addressed about fathers and sons, and men’s relationships with men, brothers to brothers, peers.”
Every now and then, eldest brother Pete has to go to Cody for advice.
“Pete’s got some issues,” says David. “There’s again where the surrogate father-son-uncle kind of relationship comes in. Cody can pass on the benefit of his experience.”
While Pete doesn’t always listen, he may come around one day, as David did.
“Late in my life,” he says, “I got to, it was kind of a blessing, actually, I got to admit to my mother, ‘You know, Ma, everything you always told me ultimately came to pass.’ I found it a great relief when I was able to admit that to my mother.”