Fox, the hormonal network, has unleashed a new sitcom, “Wild Oats,” not surprisingly about, uhh, wild oats.
Viewers drawn to such dialogue as “The gentle thump of the headboard against the wall” or “If it’s any consolation, your butt looks great” might carry this horny yuppie series through half a season. Prospects for a full year look bleak.
On the sunny side, the production hews to patented sitcom earmarks. There are crisp verbal shots (conversation this snappy and crackly happens only in hyperactive comedies). There’s a plot about two buddies vying for the same girl — who, for one guy, is an ex-girlfriend.
And, mercifully, the show boasts promising, attractive casting: Tim Conlon’s raunchy, affable jerk with “the Luke Perry hair”; Paul Rudd as his decent, sweet roommate; Paula Marshall’s floundering schoolteacher; and Jana Marie Hupp’s lustful, dime-store nympho.
The guys hit a popular bar looking for action and pick up two squealy, full-breasted foreign baubles (“Two blond sisters,” chortles Conlon, “who, importantly, don’t speak a word of English”).
Suddenly fate and reality intrude in the form of Conlon’s former girlfriend (the engaging, no-nonsense Marshall).
James Widdoes directs these characters as if they’re in a blender.
In turn, exec producer/writer Lon Diamond does negotiate moments of humor (Conlon rues the ex-flame who dragged him to “Fried Green Tomatoes”).
In real-life terms, there’s a scalding fight between the ex-lovers that rings unexpectedly true.
More characteristic is Conlon’s hypocritical “horny losers” curse on habitues of glitzy meat markets and his outburst against movies. “No more coming-of-age movies,” he wails, “no more subtitles, no more gender switching, no more musicals.” What about no more hormonal sitcoms?