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Boston Common

Couple of good chuckles do not a sitcom make, but the creators have set up an impressively loony-yet-possible Randolph Harrington College in Boston as locale and have intro'd Boyd's little-traveled sister Wyleen (Hedy Burress) as a new freshman excited about being out on her own. Trouble is, Boyd, at loose ends, takes up an offer to work as a handyman at Harrington.

Couple of good chuckles do not a sitcom make, but the creators have set up an impressively loony-yet-possible Randolph Harrington College in Boston as locale and have intro’d Boyd’s little-traveled sister Wyleen (Hedy Burress) as a new freshman excited about being out on her own. Trouble is, Boyd, at loose ends, takes up an offer to work as a handyman at Harrington.

Where else for him to live but at her small apartment? A dour neighbor, Leonard (Steve Paymer), slouches in and out of their room, which is straight sitcom style. Boyd’s got his eye on attractive grad student Joy Burns (Traylor Howard), who’s a nut about Southern mores. But not yet about Boyd. Blase Tasha King (Tasha Smith) sits at the reception desk, and other snappy types appear as director James Widdoes successfully marshals his forces.

Boyd is a winning character, and standup comic Clark nimbly works funny bits into the storyline and triumphs with sly facial expressions and styling.

Other performers, especially Burress, as irrepressible Wyleen, and Howard, as Joy, are solid.

Director Widdoes keeps up the peppy pace for the pilot, and art director Bruce Ryan supplies a good look.

Success depends on sustaining this quality of writing, on Clark maintaining the high-octane perf and the company keeping up the fast pace. If program’s positioned right, its future looks good.

Boston Common

  • Production: Boston Common (Thur. (21), 8:30-9 p.m., NBC) Filmed at CBS Studio Center by Komut Entertainment and Castle Rock Entertainment. Executive producers/creators/writers, David Kohan, Max Mutchnick; co-executive producers, Jason M. Solomon, Marco Antonio Cuadros; producers, Tim Kasier, Suzy Mamann Greenberg; director, James Widdoes.
  • Crew: Camera, Wayne Kennan; editor, Andy Zall; art director, Bruce Ryan; sound, Norman Webster; music, Greg Haggard; casting, Vicki Rosenberg, Teri Tunder.
  • With: Cast: Anthony Clark, Fred Applegate, Hedy Burress, Traylor Howard, Steve Paymer, Tasha Smith, Patrick Fabian, Anthony Russell, Zoaunne LeRoy, D.C. Douglas, Shonda Whipple, Deborah Levin. Slated for a six-week run in hopes of latching on, David Kohan and Max Mutchnick's energetic new comedy may develop into a stay-around if likable Anthony Clark, as country boy Boyd Pritchett from Virginia, holds the pace and they keep feeding him sharp dialogue. Premise is good, characters are fresh and loopy, and the cast shows off comic talents; seems like a good combo.