Just when you thought the networks might have learned something from "The Cosby Show" about portraying relationships, along comes "You Again?" to remind you just how annoying television can be.
The NBC comedy premieres at 8:30 tonight (Channels 4, 36 and 39), right after "The Cosby Show." (It subsequently will be seen Mondays at 8 p.m.) What a contrast.
"The Cosby Show" is the most popular program on television, not only because it's funny but also because it depicts a family whose members treat one another with love and respect. Yet here's a series about a recently reunited father and teen-age son who clash constantly and acrimoniously.
Witness this exchange when the father learns that his son's girlfriend is pregnant:
Son: You're mad at me, aren't you?
Father: What do you think--I'm gonna give you a big hug?
Son: Well, why not? You're supposed to hug your children.
Father: Who says?
Son: Psychiatrists. They think it's a good idea.
Father: Then let the psychiatrists hug you!
As the strait-laced papa, Jack Klugman is much the same booming, dogmatic character he played for seven years on "Quincy." John Stamos tries to compensate for being too old for the role of the unkempt 17-year-old son by playing him as just slightly brighter than a gunnysack.
They're not an Odd Couple; they're an Obnoxious Couple.
Adapted by Eric Chappell from his British series, "Home to Roost," and directed by Peter Bonerz, "You Again?" relies on insults and sexual sniggering for most of its humor. Although not as farcical, the insincere tone and implausible plot of tonight's premiere suggest nothing so much as another U.S. show that was similarly based on a British series: "Three's Company."