Review: ‘Sherman Oaks’

Involved here are Sanford's anti-gun wife, Beverly (Phyllis Katz); son Tyler (Jason Behr), who, ho-ho, thinks of himself as black; and daughter Tiffany (Heather-Elizabeth Parkhurst), hugely developed without (as is hammered home) papa's surgical help, who bares herself in a spa.

Involved here are Sanford’s anti-gun wife, Beverly (Phyllis Katz); son Tyler (Jason Behr), who, ho-ho, thinks of himself as black; and daughter Tiffany (Heather-Elizabeth Parkhurst), hugely developed without (as is hammered home) papa’s surgical help, who bares herself in a spa.

Younger son Kenny (Kristoffer Ryan Winters) staggers around in political far-right field.

The camera catches domestic Helen (Alex Meneses) indulging herself with a naked mechanic, and Sanford cavorting with his money-grabbing mistress, Sheila (Rochelle Swanson).

Trying to keep up with Sheila’s money demands, Sanford has gone into doing (ho-ho-ho) penile extension surgery, a source of some desperate hilarity.

Tyler’s black pal and fellow musician DR (Jeremiah Birkett) has the only original and fairly funny bit in the loose, disconcerting program: his explanation of the evolution of rap music.

No laugh track prompts viewers to know what’s supposed to be funny; could be nobody but the mindless will chortle.

Chris Donovan efficiently directed the game if not successful cast through the vulgarities. “Sherman Oaks” has one rare quality: It may have the disputable distinction of bringing a ratings code to cable TV.

Sherman Oaks

(Sun. (16), 11-11:30 p.m., Showtime)

Production

Taped by Chris Bearde Prods., Vin di Bona Prods. and 20th Century Fox. Executive producers, Vin di Bona, Chris Bearde, Richard C. Brustein; co-executive producer, Ken Hecht; supervising producer, Bob Kaminsky; producers, John E. Goldhammer, Tim Gibbons; director, Chris Donovan; writers, Bearde, Hecht, Kaminsky, Karyl Miller, Jayne Hamil; creator, Bearde; developed by Hecht; camera, Dan Webb, Dave Hilmer; editors, Jay Sherbeth, Tony Cimo; production designers, George and Tracy Nejame; sound, Mark E. King; music, Chris Winston. #Cast: Nick Toth, Phyllis Katz, Kristoffer Ryan Winters, Heather-Elizabeth Parkhurst, Jason Behr, Tyler Bearde, Alex Meneses, Jeremiah Birkett, Rochelle Swanson, Dan Webb, Dave Hilmer. This new Showtime sitcom -- about a student filmmaker covering the Baker family of Sherman Oaks -- revolves around sexual experiences, lots of crudities and dirty talk. Episode majors in blatant bad taste and reaches for snickers; it doesn't deliver many guffaws. E.W. Ziffrin (Tyler Bearde), making a documentary, steps in with interviews and observations about plastic surgeon Sanford Baker's brood.

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