The She-TV Guests: Wilt Chamberlain, Estelle Getty, Teri Garr, George Hamilton, Al Franken.
Despite being backed by such TV industry big guns as the Carsey-Werner company and George Schlatter, “She-TV” fails to bring anything new to the party and is likely to send guests home early. Billed as exploring the female point of view, a promising (not to mention politically correct) premise, the show fails to score on any level.
ABC has given it a six-order deal and the coveted timeslot usually occupied by “NYPD Blue.” Clearly, much is expected from “She-TV,” given the production lineage and the lengthy list of writers on the series; exec producers Bonnie and Terry Turner co-wrote Par’s “Wayne’s World,” and wrote for “Saturday Night Live.”
But this one-hour debut contains a dearth of original material, which purports to focus on how women interpret a set of facts differently than men.
Clearly designed to supplement the female point of view offered by such series as “Roseanne” and “Sisters,””She-TV” is a strictly homogenized, play-in-Peoria offering that has none of the biting wit or incisive social commentary that it promises.
The limited range of targets for satire is demonstrated by the slow-moving freeway pursuit of O.J. Simpson as a backdrop for a Ford commercial, and a pair of Brits discussing flatulence.
But a sweetened laugh track and exaggerated movements by the show’s cast often take center stage in the sketches rather than the efforts of the scribes.
While most of the cast members are refugees from the nation’s stand-up circuit, including
improv troupes Groundlings and Canada’s Second City, their skills, as demonstrated here, seem mostly unremarkable.
Cast standouts include Simbi Khali (a one-two punch combo of Whoopi Goldberg meets Phylicia Rashad) and Nick Bakay, whose impeccable timing and delivery is reminiscent of “SCTV” alumnus Dave Thomas.
Director Joel Paley keeps the action brisk, and apparently has the cast sufficiently fired up — or drinking lots of coffee — so that almost everything comes off as over the top.
The use of MTV-esque camera angles gives the program a sense of urgency, which helps the otherwise lethargic bits.