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Tv Review : Abc's 'Harry' Supplies Few Laughs

March 04, 1987|LEE MARGULIES | Times Staff Writer

You're not likely to be wild about "Harry."

How could you be? What the new ABC series lacks in humor, it fails to make up for with likeable characters.

The assemblage of unsavory characters in the series (premiering at 8:30 tonight on Channels 3, 10 and 42 and 9:30 on Channel 7), includes:

--Harry (Alan Arkin), the scam-running head of a hospital supply room who takes a 78-year-old cardiac patient for $650 at cards and thinks nothing of taking it upon himself to sell off $100,000 worth of hospital equipment to purchase a new X-ray machine.

--His assistants (Thom Bray, Matt Craven and Richard Lewis), who are, respectfully, sniveling, dumb and lazy.

--The head nurse (Holland Taylor), who is shrewish, aggressively uptight and destined to be forever at odds with Harry (except in the second episode, that is, when she briefly, and inexplicably, falls head-over-heels for him).

--The hospital administrator (Kurt Knudson), who is so ineffectual that his day is ruined when the cafeteria doesn't serve his favorite casserole.

"I suspect you had something to do with this casserole caper," he whines to Harry.

"I resent the implication, sir!" Harry retorts. "You did say there was no proof, didn't you?"

That's from the second show. Tonight's episode concerns the discovery that Harry, ensconced in the hospital basement, has been selling supplies without authorization.

Come to think of it, there are parallels between "Harry" and the crisis presently engulfing the Reagan White House, where an equally headstrong aide operating out of the basement also took it upon himself to enact policy that he deemed to be in the administration's best interest.

The problem is, "Harry" isn't any funnier than what's going on in Washington.

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