So when did T.G.I.F. suddenly begin to stand for The Greatest in Fornication? One of broadcast primetime’s last vestiges of family values — the Friday lineup on ABC between 8 and 10 p.m. — takes a journey below the belt with this lame comedy, praying that kids will react more enthusiastically to sexual innuendo than they did to the Olsen twins. To render T.G.I.F. racier, ABC has turned to the guys who co-wrote “There’s Something About Mary,” John J. Strauss and Ed Decter, and gambled that Markie Post can stand as a favorable alternative to Cameron Diaz. Good luck.
Actually, Post won’t need to do it all by herself. In fact, she is scarcely even the focal point of “Odd Man Out.” That would be teenager Erik von Detten. He portrays Andrew, a hormonally charged 15-year-old who goes through life in a state of perpetual befuddlement over the opposite sex.
Andrew’s situation is complicated by the fact that he’s a mere droplet of testosterone struggling to cohabit in an estrogen sea: He and his widower mom (Post), aunt (Jessica Capshaw) and three nubile teensomething sisters (Natalia Cigliuti, Vicki Davis and Marina Malota) all live under the same Miami roof. The only male on Andrew’s team is best pal Keith (Trevor Fehrman), who leers incessantly and curses Andy’s good fortune at being surrounded by so much blossoming femininity.
The joke — the only real joke in Jillian Tohber’s dimwitted pilot teleplay — is that Andrew is both obsessed with, and terrorized by, women. The females in his midst all meddle in his babe-chasing business, eavesdropping and making unsolicited bitchy comments. Unfortunately, being horny and 15 isn’t all that funny, even to those long past that particular stage of life.
Though the series is called “Odd Man Out,” the focus will reportedly switch often to Post’s mother character as she re-enters the dating market and to Capshaw’s aunt, who happens to run a modeling agency. That leaves all sorts of opportunities for exec producers Strauss and Decter to fix their sights on curvy cuties, a curious target for the same kiddies who just watched “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.”
Gil Junger’s direction is adequate, as are tech credits.