Meet TV's latest child caricature: Matt the nasty of 'It's Your Move'

If, by some chance, you sacrificed Sunday's opening session of ''60 Minutes'' to sample the premiere of ''Punky Brewster'' (NBC, Sundays, 7:30-8 p.m.), I have an antidote for your overdose of artificial sweetener: It's Your Move (NBC, Wednesdays, 9:30-10 p.m., starting Sept. 26) stars the least ingratiating youngster on TV: Jason Bateman as Matt Burton, a 14-year-old wheeler-dealing con man who is convinced of his own charm. The character Jason portrays is as thoroughly distasteful as the whole show, which revolves about Matt's attempts to keep his patient Mom from being a good mother.

Matt schemes, lies, tricks, manipulates, to get his way. Other than his mother's dates - she's a single parent - the foil for his nastiness is most often his best friend, an overweight youngster, constantly eating and the butt of a never-ending series of tasteless fat-boy jokes.

Soleil Moon Frye, the star of ''Punky Brewster,'' is a charmer in her role as an abandoned child who moves in on an aging widower. But she is directed to be so persistently precocious, so calculatedly cute, that a viewer begins to yearn for the hard-edged, ambush questioning going on simultaneously on CBS's ''60 Minutes.''

Jason Bateman, however, in ''It's Your Move'' is a smarmy character right from the start, just about as cute as a pet marmoset.

So, Punky, meet Matt. If there were electronic cross-pollination, perhaps CBS and NBC could combine the characters of the two kids. Then we might end up with one honest-to-goodness youngster recognizable as a real human being.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK