It would be stretching terms, terminally, to say those who fabricated the new CBS kitsch-com "Ladies' Man" were gainfully employed -- or that what they did amounted in any way to a creative act. Hosing down the driveway is a more creative act than this.
As with most of the season's anoretic and strike-delayed new comedies, "Ladies' Man," at 8:30 tonight on Channel 9, tries to wring laughs from new wrinkles in the battle of the sexes, mainly through infatile innuendo. fDull, frowny Lawrence Pressman plays the only man on the staff of a women's magazine -- oh, ho! -- and so gets to be on the receiving rather than the passing end for a change.
"I'll bet he looks great in a bathing suit," says his boss, who ought to have her eyes examined.
Once the gimmick is established, all the other tiresome elements fall thunderingly into place. There is, of course, a cutesy wisecracking and precocious little daughter for the single-parent hero. She's done a book report on "The Joy of Sex" but "Don't worry," she tells daddums, "I didn't really read it. I just looked at the pictures." Snicker-snicker.
Another prominent stereotype is the voluptuous predatory female, in this case Betty Kennedy as Andrea, a girl for whom "no" is a foreign expression. "I hope I'm up to it," says Pressman of his new job. "Me, too," leers Andrea. The plot of the pilot has Pressman writing an article on sexual harassment in the office and experiencing it, and somehow this leads him into a finale in which he unzips his pants and shouts to his boss, "I'm planning on going all the way!"
Other jokes are of a similar sophistication. While at a supermarket, says one women, she bumped into a man and "I accidentally grabbed his zucchini." To avoid the seduction attempts of the boss, the hero is advised to "tell her you have a social disease." Et cetera. Now if only there were a way to get those actors back on strike again.