October 25, 1993 12:00 PM

CBS (Fridays, 8 p.m. ET)


Dunaway plays a hard-charging Boston publishing exec who enters into an unlikely—and unlikable—relationship with a widower carpenter (Robert Urich) who has three boys. Dunaway seems quite uncomfortable doing comedy. Network fixture Urich, of course, is all too comfortable—and totally undifferentiated—whether he’s in a sitcom, drama or TV movie. (Some weeks it seems as if he’s got all three going at once.)

The funniest part of the show is marginal: Robin Bartlett as Dunaway’s sardonic administrative assistant. “Is this my mail?” asks Dunaway, of a pile of correspondence. “No, no,” chirps Bartlett sweetly. “That’s your lunch. We just put stamps all over it because we ran out of croutons.”

The show’s most repulsive trail is that it suggests repeatedly that professional women are lechers, drooling over anything in pants. Take Dunaway. We’re supposed to accept her as an ambitious, rather imperious and very busy career woman. Yet as soon as a guy with biceps and a tool belt says to her, “You know something? You’d look great with your hair down,” she melts completely and becomes his submissive love kitten.

It’s hard to say whether it’s Dunaway’s sovereign, slumming-it manner or just the role she’s playing, (a little of both, I suspect), but the show has the stuffy air of a drawing room comedy. It’s brittle, artificial, tiresome and devoid of romantic chemistry. It’s also now on hiatus. Hey, don’t hurry back on our account.

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