Review: ‘Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper’

John Randle; writers, Dan Cross, David Hoge; camera, Gary Scott; editor, John Randle; art director, David Sackeroff; sound, Larry Stephens; music, Steve Tyrell.

John Randle; writers, Dan Cross, David Hoge; camera, Gary Scott; editor, John Randle; art director, David Sackeroff; sound, Larry Stephens; music, Steve Tyrell.

Cast: Mark Curry, Raven-Symone, Saundra Quarterman, Nell Carter, Marquise Wilson, Holly Robinson, Sandy Brown, Dominic Hoffman.

Lots of verve, mugging and swiftly paced blocking (with unexplainable laughter punctuating the action) still propel one of ABC’s Friday night sitcoms, though it’s the weakest of the slate, because there is more sit than com. Concerted energy drives the program; without it, “Hangin’ ” would be “Lyin’ Around.”

Mark Cooper (Mark Curry), expecting a birthday party, discovers a growth on his arm. The doctor tells him it’ll be three days before the results come in, and she’ll call him.

Mark, eavesdropping on Geneva (Saundra Quarterman) and Vanessa (Holly Robinson), hearsthere’s bad news, which they plant because they know he’s listening. They’re putting him on about his birthday, but he thinks the news is about the bump on his arm.

Young Raven-Symone and Marquise Wilson play the showoff juves Nicole and Tyler; Nell Carter, billed for the episode, doesn’t appear. An affable-appearing Curry offers a likable characterization, and Wilson and Quarterman suggest they could handle more challenging material.

John Randle directed to running-in-place effect, as he should, and the production brightly uses visual wipes between scenes.

Hangin' with Mr. Cooper

(Fri. (21), 9:30-10 p.m., ABC)

Production

Taped at Warner Bros. Studios, Burbank, by Jeff Franklin Prods. and Warner Bros. TV. Exec producer, Cheryl Gard; co-exec producer, Samm-Art Williams; supervising producer, Efrem Seeger; producers, Leilani Downer, Bruce Johnson; coordinating producer, Lisa A. Lewis; co-producer, Marcus King; director.
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