Beware of TV shows peopled with characters who have names like Billy Clyde Puckett, Shake Tiller, Story Time and Puddin Peterson. In other words -- "Semi-Tough," the pilot for an ABC comedy series based on the Michael Ritchie film and airing Sunday night at 10:30 on Channel 7.
Like the movie, the TV show is about two fun-loving pro football pals and their mutual girlfriend, but the good-natured raunch of the picture has been replaced with TV's usual ring-around-the-collar smuttiness; eyes roll to the rafters and shapely misses undulate out of the bathroom clad only in towels.
Producer Bud Wiser and the writers (and executive producer David Merick -- tut, tut) have essentially tried to combine "The Dukes of Hazzard" with "Three's Company." Seem pret'near everybody is a-tryin' to combine "The Dukes of Hazzard" with somethin' these here days. We may be facing TV's biggest yahoo invasion since the days of "Gomer-Pyle" and "The Beverly Hillbillies."
So anyway, Jimmy Joe and Billy Bob, or Billy Bob Joe and Jimmy Crack Corn, or whoever they are, find life a lark and get into all manner of hilarious scrapes or, actually, only one manner of scrape and not a very hilarious one, when their mutual honey-bunch decides to marry a psychiatrist who can only say "I understand."
Josh Taylor as Shake and Douglas Barr as Billy Clyde could hardly be paler carbons of Kris Kristofferson and Burt Reynolds, stars of the film, nor will Mary Louise Weller ever be accidentally mistaken for Jill Clayburgh -- nor, if this thing becomes a series, for an actress. The three of them waddle through such wheezes as "virginity is only skin deep" and a cute bit in which Billy Clyde pours beer on his armpit.