Looks like irrepressible Tony Danza has booked into another long-runner in the role ofTony Canetti, New Jersey police detective who has stayed clear of women since his divorce a year ago. Randi Mayem Singer’s script has bumps, but it also has winning characters and laughs.
Confirmed reactionary Canetti is tricked into meeting obits writer Melanie Clifford (Lori Loughlin), a radical who’s unswervingly currently correct. They get along well enough when they’re not sparring, she beats him at pool, and they’re attracted to each other. She’s given the police beat as her assignment. They’re doomed.
Secondary characters include exwife Lucy (Shareen Mitchell), who shares a good scene with Canetti and their son Mickey (Frankie J. alasso); the station lieutenant Al Teischer (Jerry Adler); all-out (almost cartoon time) feminist cop Kirby McIntire (Christine Dunford); and officer Regelski (Tom Gallop). The mix works.
Danza gives Canetti his little-boy-confused combo of enthusiast, realist and romanticist — it’s familiar and dependable. Police station antics are OK, dad-son shenanigans successful. Loughlin’s fresh and attractive as the flipside of Canetti’s personality.
There are also references to their age difference, another field on which to play. An added plus is Jeffrey Anderson-gunter’s cynical waiter.
Program has a traditional sitcom feel. Art director Bob Breen’s work is able and helpful, and James Burrows directs with his usual assurance. Looks like “Hudson Street,” preceded by “Roseanne” and followed by “Home Improvement,” should be right at home.