Oh Grow Up Review

Washington Post, September 22, 1999


"Oh Grow Up" is a cute title but really, why do they have to bother thinking up cute titles for such standard, cookie-cutter shows? Why not just give them numbers? Like "Sitcom No. 6475ABC99-B." The titles don't matter, the shows don't matter. This one especially.

It's the story of three garrulous goofballs sharing a Brooklyn brownstone and muddling their ways into each other's business. As it opens -- tonight at 9:30 on ABC (Channel 7) -- one of the first sounds we hear is a woman having an orgasm. Two of the guys are downstairs trying not to listen while the third guy, upstairs, makes with the whoompa-whoompa.

A dog named Mom, yes really, says "Make it stop" in a subtitle, the show's big inspiration. This big inspiration harks all the way back to the dawn of TV and a cheerful little '50s sitcom called "The People's Choice," with a funny basset hound named Cleo whose thoughts were spoken on the soundtrack by an anonymous woman's voice.

So that "Oh Grow Up" will have that "edge" that all shows want these days, one of the three men is gay, though perhaps the least gay gay man that ever existed. He's supposed to have discovered his homosexuality after marriage, which means his ex-wife comes around now and then to needle him and complain. How she does go on. How they all do go on. And how unfunnily.

The cast includes John Ducey, David Alan Basche and Stephen Dunham, with Rena Sofer and Niesha Trout representing womanhood. Remember those names, for any or all of them may find themselves in a really good TV show someday. By then, or maybe by November, "Oh Grow Up" will have been mercifully forgotten.

--Tom Shales
Washington Post Staff Writer

© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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