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TV REVIEWS : 'Dave's World': A Charming Neverland

The New Season

September 20, 1993|HOWARD ROSENBERG

"Dave's World" is amiable whimsy, a half-hour CBS comedy starring former "Night Court" judge Harry Anderson as real-life Miami humor columnist Dave Barry. It premieres at 8:30 tonight on Channels 2 and 8.

The easygoing, guitar-playing protagonist is a widely syndicated newspaper columnist who muddles on the home front while excelling on the work front. Yet tonight he faces both writer's and parent's block.

Dave's wife is Beth (DeLane Matthews), who runs a big house with three kids--her two sons and her husband, a sort of man/child who observes the world through junior eyes: "Why do adults have to turn every little thing into a life lesson?"

The question relates to Beth's campaign to get Dave to assume more responsibility as a father. Responsibility? It's a concept he doesn't quite comprehend.

There are no answers here, only the low-key carping and droll philosophizing of Dave, who wears his irreverence like a cowlick while hanging out with a trio of buddies that includes his playboy-egoist editor, Kenny Becket (Shadoe Stevens). Fred Barron's script uses Becket to issue an occasional zinger:

Dave: "You're dating an insurance agent?"

Kenny: "Where else am I going to find a date these days who wants to talk about me?"

Even though his relentless boyishness and flight from adult reality at times wears thin, Dave is a comfortable character, as well as being a nice fit for Anderson, who performs here with confidence and ease.

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