December 08, 2003 12:00 PM

NBC (Tuesdays, 8 p.m. ET)


Wife to husband: “What’s wrong with you?…You are being ridiculous…. You’re crazy, you know that?” Welcome to yet another immature-dad sitcom, this one starring former Saturday Night Live regular Tracy Morgan as the brainless head of the household.

Tracy (a name Morgan should be comfortable with) is the owner of an auto-repair shop, spouse of Alicia (Tamala Jones) and father of 13-year-old Derrick (Marc John Jefferies) and 7-year-old Jimmy (Bobb’e J. Thompson). In the first of back-to-back episodes Dec. 2, Tracy learns that shy Derrick has an unspoken crush on a girl at school, so he pushes the boy to come on to her like a “playa.” This earns him a scolding from Alicia: “You embarrass him and act like a fool.” In his next parental misadventure, Tracy can’t deal with Jimmy’s fear of a medical appointment because his own dread of doctors runs even deeper. Wonder how he’d feel about seeing a shrink.

NBC promos claim Thompson sets this apart from other family sitcoms, and in fact the cheeky little lad will steal any scene regardless of whether it’s worth taking. But if the series has a redeeming feature, it’s veteran comedian John Witherspoon (The Wayans Bros.), who brings his quirky delivery to the role of Spoon (naturally), one of Tracy’s mechanics. Also frequenting the workplace is a hanger-on named Freddie (Katt Williams), the man with the sad duty of delivering the show’s worst joke (yes, even worse than Tracy’s saying “trigonometries” when he means tracheotomies). Hearing Spoon refer to Tracy’s phobia about going to the doctor, Freddie interjects, “Phobia—isn’t that the blonde girl on Friends?”


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