Oh Grow Up Review

Chicago Sun Times, September 22, 1999

New political soap opera plausible


CHANGING CHANNELS: Gee, a group of single, immature guys? Living together? On television? There's a new idea! Wish we had thought of that!

ABC calls it Oh Grow Up.

Oh Shut Up is more like it.

This new ** (two-stars out of four) semi-autobiographical comedy from Alan Ball (screenwriter for the upcoming Kevin Spacey-Annette Bening film American Beauty), making its debut at 8:30 tonight, is about a trio of Peter Pan Syndrome archetypes sharing a Brooklyn home.

There's Hunter (Stephen Dunham), a bed-hopping Don Juan; Norris (David Alan Basche), a hospital supply salesman whose response to midlife crisis is to chuck it all and become an artist; and Ford (John Ducey), who has just walked away from a marriage because he lusts after men rather than women.

Think of this as a Friends knockoff, without Monica, Rachel, Phoebe or half the cleverness.

The women here are mostly angry. Hunter has a teenage daughter (Niesha Trout) that he's never met until tonight. Ford has an ex-wife (Rena Sofer) who can't believe she didn't know that her husband was gay. And then there's one of those adorable TV dogs named Mom, who speaks via subtitles.

This isn't a bad show, just not a great one. Some of the jokes actually connect. The problem is that they're all variations on a theme, and the theme gets to be a bit tiresome. If these guys grow even a little, the show might as well. Here's hoping.

-- Phil Rosenthal

Reviews | Oh Grow Up