Three stages of couplehood are the premise: dating, newlywed and marriage. The daters, Bobbi (Tamala Jones) and Reggie (Edafe Blackmon), struggle with levels of commitment, while newlyweds Malena (Holly Robinson Peete) and Mel (James Lesure) struggle with their newfound unity. Married couple — for five years — Sheri (Dedee Pfeiffer) and Dean (D.W. Moffett) struggle unsuccessfully to keep “tips” on matrimony to themselves. But next-door neighbors Malena and Mel constantly get an earful.Mel’s brother Reggie and g.f. Bobbi also add to the 30-minute mix of men from Mars and women from Venus. Predictable plot elements don’t get weighed down by stereotypes and stereotypical situations, and the actors and writers can spend the rest of the season creating characters, not caricatures —this is a cute show with a good heart. Newlywed Lesure’s deft delivery is a highlight, while sitcom vet Peete turns in a polished perf. Rest of cast is also good, and the show’s chemistry is palpable. Tech credits are pro, and Greg Richman’s art direction does much to convey each couple’s personalities. Main theme, a funkified version of Yardbirds’ classic “For Your Love,” performed by Chaka Khan and Michael McDonald, also sets an urban, upbeat tone.
(SITCOM; WB; THURS., SEPT. 17; 9:30 P.M.)
Taped in Burbank by Sister Lee Prods. in association with Warner Bros. Television. Executive producer/creator, Yvette Lee Bowser; co-executives producers, Jamie Wooten, Jim Pond, Bill Fuller; producers, Frank Pace, Steve Faber, Bob Fisher; director, Ellen Gittelsohn; writers, Steve Faber, Bob Fisher.
Camera, Frank Raymond; editor, Dennis C. Vejar; art director, Greg Richman; sound, Phil Valdivia; music, Bill Maxwell; main title "For Your Love," performed by Chaka Khan, Michael McDonald; casting, Geraldine Leder, Leah Daniels-Butler. 30 MINS.
Malena Ellis.....Holly Robinson Peete Mel Ellis.....James Lesure Dean Winston.....D.W. Moffett Sheri Winston.....Dedee Pfeiffer Reggie Ellis.....Edafe Blackmon Bobbi Seawright.....Tamala Jones Narrator.....Steve Kehela Don.....Eamonn Roche Deliverymen.....Angel Vargas, Bill Gratton For Your Love," from the creator of "Living Single," aired as a midseason replacement in the spring on NBC, and the WB was smart to pick up this charming relationships comedy. In seg reviewed, the themes explored are as old as the sitcom genre, but the bright cast is appealing, and writing is above average.