Picks and Pans Review: Mr. Mom
ABC (Friday, Nov. 30, 9:30 p.m. ET)
And they might as well have called this one Who’s the Boss in Charge, Charles? It’s the third hunk-housekeeper show of the season, spun off the Teri Garr-Michael Keaton movie. Barry Van Dyke is the unemployed auto exec in Detroit; Rebecca York is his wife going to work in advertising. They and their three kids are immediately likable. As Mommy goes off for her first day on the job, her little daughter advises: “Don’t sit naked on the Xerox machine. Some lady got fired for that.” Believe it or not, the kid’s cute delivery makes the line work. But it goes downhill from there as the script lobotomizes all its characters. The husband doesn’t even know how to load a dishwasher. That defines dumb. He tests a new smoke detector with a match—that puts off no smoke—and curses when the alarm doesn’t work. Of course not, idiot. The smoke alarm does go off when his sexy neighbor comes to visit. Here’s a textbook case in how TV takes a cute idea—and a script that does have some good lines—and leeches the wit out of it.