One mile to go before we sleep: "On Our Own" is the last new CBS network prime-time series to premiere as part of the fall season. The honor would be questionable anyway, but it's made doubly dubious by the facts that, (A) "On Our Own" isn't any good and (B) a second "new season" is about to begin because some of the other new fall shows already have been canceled.
"On Our Own" does have thedistinction of being the only new show to be produced in New York, but this is rendered moot because the show has no New York feel or look. At heart, to stretch a term, it's not a native New Yorker; it's an L.A. transplant. The first show airs Sunday at 8:30 p.m. on Channel 9.
Perhaps if there weren't so many other minimal sitcoms on the air, this one wouldn't seem so tiring. But onetrait characters and mechanical gag lines simply are not in any stretch of any term delicacies; one has to trust one's judgment in assuming that this show would be inadequate even if it were the only limp comedy on TV.
Bess Armstrong and Lynnie Greene play, respectively, a short and a tall copy writer ofr a Manhattan ad agency. Such scrapes they get into! On the first show, they hvae to audition actors wearing only their BVDs for a deodorant commercial. The two women titter, giggle and gasp over this as if they were both trapped in a Tickle ad themselves.
"Bodies are dirty - the nuns told me," says Greene.
"You're 23 years old and you still blush when you order breast of turkey," says Armstrong.
"Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha," goes the studio audience.
Gretchen Wyler, once a big noise on Broadway, makes barely a peep as the girls' cranky boss. Like all the other characters, she's a theme in one note, but the weariest stereotype in the house is Dixie Carter's portrayal of April Baxter. April is the requisite gorgeous catty snob that has become the key stock figure of the year.
Indeed, the moral of "On Our Own" - in addition to its selfish-'70s gospel of loving yourself no matter what your faults - appears to be that only plain people have any decency. A handsome actor who auditions for the commercial is revealed to be a cad-in-the-grass, and Baxter, whom Carter overplays with nauseating exaggeration, epitomizes attractive viciousness.
It's time someone stood up for the beautiful people of the world, to this extent at least: Plain and homely people can be rotters, too. In the case of "On Our Own," they can also be perky, jerky, winsome and tiresome bores.