Oh Grow Up Review

The Kansas City Star, September 21, 1999

`West Wing' starts slow, `Grow Up' shows promise

Our TV critic rates tonight's premiering shows.
The Barnhart scale, from best to worst: Don't Miss, Has Potential, Needs Show Doctor, D.O.A. (Dead on Arrival).


"Oh Grow Up" Imagine if "Full House" were done by the producers of MTV's "The Real World" and you might have this show about three men -- two straight, one gay -- who end up living under the same roof. One of the few conventional new sitcoms this year, "Oh Grow Up" shows promise of maturing, if that is the right word, into a show that knows how to put the fun in dysfunctional.

Stephen Dunham plays a carefree philanderer whose ways are so familiar to his roommate, played by David Alan Basche, that Basche even knows how many minutes will elapse before that night's conquest will come downstairs for a glass of water. One day an old friend (John Ducey) shows up at their door, having just come out of the closet. Not far behind is his soon-to-be-ex-wife (Rena Sofer). Then Dunham's little world is interrupted by the arrival of a daughter he sired 18 years ago (Niesha Trout).

Creator Alan Ball avoids going for easy laughs with this troupe, all the while keeping the pot stirred. And while Dunham's and Basche's characters bear more than a passing resemblance to Robbie and Shrug, the laconic tandem on another ABC sitcom, "It's Like, You Know," by episode's end they show signs of actually caring about their fellow man -- and woman.

-- Aaron Barnhart

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