Patrick Duffy and Suzanne Somers continue their sitcom as Frank Lambert and Carol Foster Lambert, who bring their respective offspring into their marriage with high hopes. “The Brady Bunch” look-alike still holds up in ABC’s Friday comedy slate.
Sophistication isn’t the show’s long suit, and the off-camera audience is too enthusiastic to be 100% genuine, but the characters’ antics are acceptable.
In this one, Frank’s exuberant teen son J.T. (Brandon Call) thinks he has a date with a pal’s sister, a model; however, the date turns out to be the friend’s 13-year-old, pushy sister Eleanor (Elizabeth Sroka).
Carol’s daughter Dana (Staci Keanan), has a date with wonderful Jeff (John Buchanan), but both J.T. and Dana have a letdown in store. And poor Eleanor probably has the biggest letdown of all.
At home, Carol’s invited the Tubmans (Troy Evans, Nancy Lenehan) over for a visit because young Brendan Lambert (Josh Byrne) and Lester Tubman (Jordan Benedict) had a fight; the parents turn out to be strong comic material for the seg.
Show strains to create situations, but they pay off OK. Somers and Duffy are able, and the youngsters all perform well. Writer Julia Newton earns some laughs , but transitions are often flat despite Duffy’s straightforward direction.
Program belongs in the dependable, sometimes-silly niche where school proms are sitcom fodder and minor misunderstandings mount up as ripples of assured laughter feed them.