Oh Grow Up Review

New York Times, September 22, 1999

ABC, tonight at 9:30
(Channel 7 in New York)

Here's a sitcom so skillfully derivative that you'll swear you're already tired of it, even though you've never seen it before. Three hunky young guys with unusual first names share a Brooklyn brownstone: Hunter (Stephen Dunham), the self-absorbed lothario; Norris (David Alan Basche), the self-absorbed struggling artist, and Ford (John Ducey), the self-absorbed gay guy. Having cloned these three characters, the show's creators seem to have been unable to find anything funny for them to do. Elated after a one-night stand, Hunter tells Norris: "I think she might be the one. You didn't happen to get her name, did ya?" Norris says, "You just officially became a parody of yourself." (Sounds as if someone's waving a white flag already.)

If the show can't distinguish itself with humor, it tries tacking on some serious stuff. Serious mistake. Ford has just acknowledged his homosexuality, and his wife, Suzanne (Rena Sofer), sure is miffed. She drinks too much wine and tells him, "You promised to love, honor and not go Nancy on me." Then Hunter discovers that a college romance produced a daughter, Chloe (Niesha Trout), who shows up at the boys' doorstep toting a backpack and not a little anger of her own.

The freshest notion here is a dog named Mom who's jealous of Hunter's girlfriends. You know that because her barks are translated by subtitles. That makes one more character who can't locate a clever line.

--Ron Wertheimer

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