Don’t expect “Dave’s World” to be as funny as the Dave Barry newspapercolumns that the series is supposedly based upon, but there are enough chuckles and a solid cast, led by former “Court” jester Harry Anderson, to keep this one going.
In TV land, Barry’s world consists of home and the office, with interludes at places like his kid’s soccer practice. As a humor columnist he’s searching and usually finding the laughter in life with the help of his children and wife (DeLane Matthews). His conceited editor (Shadoe Stevens) and old college chum/neighbor (Meshach Taylor) provide the fodder outside the Barry castle.
Bow has Dave grudgingly coaching his son’s soccer team, which spurs a heart-to-heart talk with one son that brings the show’s best line: “Dad, I don’t want to make a difference, I want to be like you.”
But most of the family action is not so much funny as sappy, with Dave as more of a big brother than a father. Humor picks up a beat when Dave is at the newspaper office, where his antics and kid-at-heart attitude doesn’t let up, much to the chagrin of his editor, whose insecurities are masterfully displayed by Stevens. Anderson is seemingly quite comfortable with the character of Barry (and if you’ve ever seen Barry himself, Anderson’s a good Hollywood match). The character is accurate right down to his beer drinking, although Barry would never drink an American beer.
Sets by Richard DeCinces give stage a deep, real look and camerawork by Gregg Heschong keeps the action from ever becoming too still. Director James Widdoes has a firm handle on the production.
Monday night slot pits “Dave’s World” vs. nighttime footballers on ABC, but Fred Barron’s script has enough broad appeal to potentially score points for this helping of good, clean fun that may not bust your gut, but should crack a smile.