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The New Fall TV Season : TELEVISION REVIEWS : 'MY TWO DADS'

September 19, 1987|HOWARD ROSENBERG

NBC's "My Two Dads"(premiering at 8:30 p.m. Sunday on Channels 4, 36, 39), manages to fuse two hackneyed comedy formulas into a single sitcom--move-ins and bickering opposites--executing neither very well.

Strait-laced Michael Taylor (Paul Reiser) and unlaced artist Joey Harris (Greg Evigan) have a problem. The woman they ended their friendship with more than 13 years ago has died, naming both as possible fathers of her plucky 12-year-old daughter Nicole (Staci Keanan). Beware of TV's plucky 12-year-olds.

These guys hate each other, and there's more. Michael wears suits and is square. Bearded Joey wears tank tops and is avant-garde: "Hey, man, what's shakin'?" That is avant-garde. Somehow these two mugs will have to put aside their differences to raise Nicole. Somehow you know that they will.

The glimmers of humor in co-executive producer Michael Jacobs' script are discernible only with radar, so overwhelmingly trivial and unfunny is the rest of this opening episode. It doesn't help that Nicole is inexplicably more like a 22-year-old than a 12-year-old and makes losing a mother and changing homes seem about as traumatic as changing eye shadow.

That is, until the obligatory manipulative ending. Actually, the show doesn't end as much as it oozes to a halt. The question, man, is what's shakin' with this series?

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