The best thing you can say about CBS' "The Body Human: Becoming a Man" is that no "young person," the target of the series, is going to watch it for more than a minute or two. Unless it's for yucks. And even its inadvertent laughs are not going to have much holding power at 5 p.m. today on Channel 9 -- along about the second or third inning of The Game on that other channel.

It's hard to say if the producers of this half-hour special felt that the Moral Majority was at their collective elbow, but although the promotion declares that the special "addresses the issues of sexual responsibility, choices and consequences" of high-school seniors, no such promise is fulfilled. There are a series of half-conversations between Mike ("M*A*S*H") Farrell and a couple of appealing teen-agers, one white, one black, from Sarasota, Fla. And some other, mostly incomprehensible, mutterings between teens.

There are also a whole lot of generalities, and Farrell even talks about something that he explains "used to be called the Golden Rule." It's not that I have anything against doing unto others, but the closest we get to sexual responsibility is asking a 16-year-old if he is a virgin.

(One of the teens isn't; the other will save himself for marriage, he says. Cut to scene of him practicing a circus stunt on a bicycle.)


Subjects like venereal disease -- even the rampant herpes -- are not mentioned at all. There's a lot of hemming and hawing about respect for other people (the Golden Rule bit) and one extraordinary scene where the black teen's school counselor says something like, "Oh, a 3.5 average, that's nice. Your athletic ability should help you . . ."

Maybe the sense was edited out. Maybe these kids never went to junior high school. Maybe there is a point to all this. All I know is when MY kids were high-school freshmen, they'd have laughed this one out of town.