Not the funniest sitcom, “Joe’s Life” could be tagged one of the more human among the new entries. Peter Onorati is ideally cast as Joe Gennaro, the temporary Mr. Mom, with Mary Page Keller as wife Sandy. The concept’s old hat, but the genial personalities (and the slot after “Thea”) could help in the ratings.
Sandy works days; Joe, laid off from his management job, works nights. Dad daywatches youngsters Amy (Morgan Nagler), Paul (Robert Hy Gorman) and Scott (Spencer Klein), 7, who worships his music teacher and his rattail. Sandy thinks Scott has every right to grow one; Joe objects.
The conflict over parental authority is routine, but director Andrew D. Weyman keeps the twosome lively and, even when quarreling, attractive. The youngsters occasionally slip into banal sitcom behavior, but creator-writer Bob Myer and Onorati’s Joe ably work the situations.
Keller is pert as Sandy, and George DiCenzo, playing Joe’s brother Stan, makes his way through the unchallenging role. Mimi Kennedy offers a welcome tartness as Stan’s wife, although her role in the opener is too small.
The soft sitcom’s major hurdle is getting people to watch nice, 1950s-type neighbors down the way. Writer Myer better dig up more original angles if Joe’s going to have a life.