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'Love and Marriage'

By Tom Shales
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 28, 1996

The new season is littered with working couples struggling to bring home the bacon and put bread on the table, and the nattering Nardinis of Fox's "Love and Marriage" are among the least amusing.

Patricia Healy and Tony Denison star as April and Jack, a waitress and parking garage manager who've been married 17 years, have three kids and are trying to raise them in a cramped New York apartment. In the premiere, at 9:30 tonight on Channel 5, one can see there's lots of love in the family, but not much intelligence.

It's endearing that she brings home leftovers in the traditional swan-shaped aluminum foil wrappers, and kind of cute when wife and hubby drink beer out of champagne glasses. But the series seems as crowded as the apartment; it's a moving target that never settles down and finds a personality.

Obviously this is from the "creative" team that whipped up "Married . . . With Children." It even features a Frank Sinatra song -- not "Love and Marriage," already used on "Married," but rather "Come Fly With Me," which was the series's original title.

Of the kids, 11-year-old Christopher has been skipping school again, 16-year-old Gemmy keeps changing hair colors and having body parts pierced, and 17-year-old Michael works at several part-time jobs. According to Fox, he does this "in hopes of achieving his goal: to make enough money to move out." Healy and Denison try hard, but getting out seems like a good goal for a viewer, too.

In a lovey-dovey mood, Jack refers to April as "the only proof I've found on this Earth that there is a God." Whoa! What's the matter with this guy? Hasn't he ever seen a tree, a flower, a penguin or Jenny McCarthy?

© Copyright 1996 The Washington Post Company

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