September 9, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 6  

Front Page >> Arts & Entertainment > Fall comedies lacking


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Fall comedies lacking

By Mark Polishuk
Gazette Staff

Gazette file photo
GUESS WHO'S BACK? Proving that years of ridicule and a stagnating career are not enough to hold her back, Whoopi returns to the small screen with a new self-titled sitcom.

Every year the networks ask us, "Are you ready to laugh?!" and the poor quality of sitcoms makes the audience react as if they'd just heard about a dog being run over in a parking lot. Maybe 2003 is the year when the next Seinfeld emerges, but don't hold your breath.

ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT (FOX): Sunday at 9:30 p.m.
Sadly, it's not a sitcom about the early '80s rap group. The show is actually about a rich family who has their assets frozen by the government. Two bits of unintentional comedy: first, the show stars Jason Bateman. Second, Bateman's son on the show is named George Michael. Must've been hell trying to potty-train that kid. It's a ripoff of... Uptown Girls. Hopefully everyone on this show can act better than Brittany Murphy.

Thursday at 9:30 p.m.
Coupling is about six friends who all sleep with one another, so it's too bad this show isn't on HBO for the inevitable orgy episode. It's a ripoff of... well, the BBC's Coupling. Also, a show about three men and three women? It should be called Friends (With Benefits).

(ABC): Friday at 9 p.m.
Kelly Ripa is a soap star whose career falls apart and she moves back in with her soccer mom sister, Faith Ford. Oddly enough, Faith plays Hope and Kelly plays Faith. It's a ripoff of... Arrested Development.

IT'S ALL RELATIVE (ABC): Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.
The son of a blue-collar, Irish Catholic family falls in love with the daughter of two gay men. If you like stereotypes, then this is the show for you. It's a ripoff of... The Birdcage.

(FOX): Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.
Norm Macdonald is a reporter who decides to move to Wisconsin to experience some small-town America and discovers a bunch of zany cheeseheads. Macdonald is one of those guys who can make anything funny, so this might be the best bet for the new season. It's a ripoff of... Newhart, which isn't surprising since both shows have the same creator, Barry Kemp.

TWO AND A HALF MEN (CBS): Monday at 9:30 p.m.
Jon Cryer and Charlie Sheen are two brothers trying to raise Cryer's kid. Why not just a show about Sheen himself? It can be called Oh Charlie, after what Denise Richards always says after hearing about yet another of Charlie's drug `n brothel weekends. Emilio Estevez can play the Cryer role and Martin Sheen can make cameos yelling at his sons. It can't miss! It's a ripoff of... Three Men and a Baby.

(NBC): Tuesday at 8 p.m.
It's Whoopi Goldberg. She plays a singing diva turned hotel owner, to quote the NBC Web site. I've never been happier to have a Tuesday night class. It's a ripoff of... Fawlty Towers. Is Whoopi Goldberg funnier than John Cleese? Hell no.



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