TV packs full schedule for tomorrow night
Call it Busy Wednesday. CBS premi`eres four new series tomorrow night:Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Stir Crazy (8-9 p.m.) is inspired by the 1980 movie of the same name . . . but this time without Richard Pryor. However, it does surprisingly well with a very funny man named Larry Riley and his sidekick Joseph Guzaldo. They are jailed for 132 years for a crime they did not commit and, of course, escape in order to clear themselves -- and maybe have some fun. The film is full of irreverent and outrageous humor. One funny sequence involves the tough police captain (played by Polly
Holliday) who tries to convince them how tough she is by insisting she hates Disneyland and Mary Lou Retton.
The show is full of car chases and scary escapes and all the action-film standbyes, but done tongue-in-cheek. ``Stir Crazy'' is mad, mad fun and deserves a place on the schedule. However, it could run into trouble since it is up against ``Highway to Heaven'' on NBC, which may have some special support going for it in high places.
Charlie & Company (9-9:30 p.m.) is, pure and simple, a ``Cosby Show'' ripoff. It stars Flip Wilson and Gladys Knight as a black Yuppie couple coping with two teen-agers and one younger son. The pilot I viewed has now been switched to a later date, but the series, I am told, is not being changed much. Typical comment by Dad, played (would you believe in character) by a subdued Flip Wilson: ``Twenty years ago, when I decided to have a family, I knew all the answers. But now all the questions have changed.'' It's just ``The Huxtables Move to Chicago.''
George Burns Comedy Week (9:30-10 p.m.) features Mr. B. fore and aft, introducing an original comedy each week. Premi`ere episode is a vaguely uncomfortable farce about a beautiful escapee from an asylum who has constantly changing delusions about who she is, assuming false identities based upon the environment she happens to be in. It borders on being funny -- and tasteless -- but just manages to avoid both. Leads in the first segment are played by Catherine O'Hara and Tim Matheson. We've MDNM had anthology drama before, and this season we will have anthology science fiction (``Amazing Stories'') as well as anthology mystery (``Hitchcock''), so why not anthology comedy? This show is a good reason why not.
The Equalizer (10-11 p.m.). This may be the season for mature actors and actresses. Here comes another mature lead: Edward Woodward as a former secret agent who decides his work is too violent and gives it up to spend more time with his son. Soon he decides to be a private investigator in order to satisfy his urge to balance the scales of justice. In the premi`ere episode, shot in New York City, there are three intertwined stories, `a la ``Hill Street,'' but too few interesting characters to make it all
stick together like that show. ``Equalizer'' is too complex and not quite fast-moving enough. And our hero makes too free use of weapons and lawbreaking himself. The show is being redesigned to look more like ``Miami Vice,'' I hear. But what show isn't planning that?
If all that isn't enough, at the same time ABC and PBS are turning over their prime time to specials.