Love & War

The series' new timeslot, following freshman series "Double Rush" (also out of the Shukovsky-English factory), pits "Love & War" against "Ellen." It's going to take more than is provided by Jonathan Tunick's newly souped-up mock-Gershwin theme music to energize this likable series out of its present third-season complacency.

With:
Cast: Annie Potts, Jay Thomas, Joanna Gleason, Joel Murray, Suzie Plakson, Charlie Robinson, Michael Nouri. (Part I) Arnetia Walker, Klee G. Bragger, Danielle Judovitz, Zachary Duhame, Dee Dee Rescher; (Part II) Sid Caesar, Arnetia Walker, Aaron Lustig, Heather Rattray, Andrew Craig, Bob Koherr, Lillian Adams, Billye Ree Wallace, Michael Traeger, Ken Womble. The news that a local picture palace is to be torn down and replaced with a multiplex prompts the regulars at the Blue Parrot restaurant -- all of whom have a history in the neighborhood -- to take time to reminisce, via flashbacks, in a two-parter. It's not exactly an original storytelling device, but serves to showcase individual "Love & War" cast members.

The series’ new timeslot, following freshman series “Double Rush” (also out of the Shukovsky-English factory), pits “Love & War” against “Ellen.” It’s going to take more than is provided by Jonathan Tunick’s newly souped-up mock-Gershwin theme music to energize this likable series out of its present third-season complacency.

Best sequences in co-executive producer Ian Praiser’s script feature Joel Murray, Joanna Gleason and (in Part II) Sid Caesar, who plays the father of Jay Thomas’ character, Jack Stein.

Wearing some extra padding, eyeglasses and with his hair slicked back, Murray portrays the father of his usual character, trash collector Ray Litvak. After accidentally bringing young Ray (Klee J. Bragger) to a showing of “Carnal Knowledge,” Mr. Litvak is forced to explain to his son the facts of life. “First you take all your clothes off, then the woman makes fun of you …”

Gleason’s Nadine Berkus recalls bringing her young children (Zachary Duhame, Danielle Judovitz) to the Pantheon, escaping to the ladies’ room for a minute’s solace and finding a sympathizer (Dee Dee Rescher) with a solution for Nadine’s rattled nerves: “a big old, fat, hand-rolled doobie.” A few puffs later, Nadine has cleaned out the snack bar.

The good news about Caesar’s brief appearance is that he’s in good comedic and dramatic form, as he and Jack fail to communicate as father and son; bad news is that he probably won’t be coming back: Stein’s father died some years back.

Other regulars — Suzie Plakson, Charlie Robinson, Michael Nouri and Annie Potts — have individual recollections, though not as interesting as the above-mentioned.

Love & War

Production: AT THE PANTHEON (Wed. (4, 11), 9:30-10 p.m., CBS) Filmed in Los Angeles by Shukovsky English Entertainment. Executive producers, Joel Shukovsky, Diane English; co-executive producer, Ian Praiser; producers, Matt Goldman, Emily Levine; supervising producer, Janet Leahy; consulting producer, Shannon Gaughan; director, Robert Berlinger; writer, Praiser.

Crew: Camera, Brianne Murphy; editor, Bill Lowe; art director, Debe Hale; sound, Phil Brown; music, Johnathan Tunick.

With: Cast: Annie Potts, Jay Thomas, Joanna Gleason, Joel Murray, Suzie Plakson, Charlie Robinson, Michael Nouri. (Part I) Arnetia Walker, Klee G. Bragger, Danielle Judovitz, Zachary Duhame, Dee Dee Rescher; (Part II) Sid Caesar, Arnetia Walker, Aaron Lustig, Heather Rattray, Andrew Craig, Bob Koherr, Lillian Adams, Billye Ree Wallace, Michael Traeger, Ken Womble. The news that a local picture palace is to be torn down and replaced with a multiplex prompts the regulars at the Blue Parrot restaurant -- all of whom have a history in the neighborhood -- to take time to reminisce, via flashbacks, in a two-parter. It's not exactly an original storytelling device, but serves to showcase individual "Love & War" cast members.

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