ABC's corrosive sitcom "Soap" was the kind of acquired taste you could be glad you never acquired. Like a taste for masochism. Or chewing tobacco. Now Susan Harris, who wrote and created it, has written and created another eminently disposable series, "It Takes Two," premiering tonight on ABC.

The program, at 9:30 on Channel 7, actually finds Harris in a mellower mood than with "Soap." The principal characters aren't farcical, slobbering loons. They are instead an urban husband and wife who are wrestling with the fact that the wife is six months into a career; she passed the bar and is now a prosecuting attorney. The husband, a surgeon, must adjust his thinking.

Unfortunately, though Richard Crenna--as seasoned and dependable a TV actor as there is--and Patty Duke Astin supply considerable warmth as the couple, there is none in the script. Harris' work is the bad result of the good breakthroughs made years ago by Norman Lear; her irreverence is the cheap, unsanitary kind. The show is a caustic bore.

Harris specializes, it would appear, in jokes about death. Near the beginning of the show, the husband and wife are discussing the case of a youth accused of murder. The defense had claimed the boy was from a broken home, the wife says, snarling, "Of course he comes from a broken home; he killed his father." When the audience has stopped howling at this, she says, "The kid walked into an all-night market and shot the checker 'cause they didn't have Oreos." More screams.

As the wife's mother, Billie Bird has a fetching, daft, offbeat delivery, but she doesn't get much to deliver. Discussing the inadvisability of arguing over a meal, she recalls a donnybrook she had with her husband. "And then right in the middle of the fight, he dropped dead," she says, to roars. "If we hadn't been fighting, he wouldn't have died, and he could have had dessert." (Laughter.) "It was no tragedy that night because it was only canned pears." (Chuckles.)

At this point, the teen-age daughter enters saying, "I'm really grossed, really really grossed," because she has just found a pimple on her face. Programs like this are pimples on the face of television--the pizza-face of television, as it were. "It Takes Two" was directed by Jay Sandrich, who once filled the same role on Mary Tyler Moore's show. How he must miss taking pride in his work! 'It Takes Two' to Tangle But It's Just a Bore By Tom Shales TV Preview

ABC's corrosive sitcom "Soap" was the kind of acquired taste you could be glad you never acquired. Like a taste for masochism. Or chewing tobacco. Now Susan Harris, who wrote and created it, has written and created another eminently disposable series, "It Takes Two," premiering tonight on ABC.

The program, at 9:30 on Channel 7, actually finds Harris in a mellower mood than with "Soap." The principal characters aren't farcical, slobbering loons. They are instead an urban husband and wife who are wrestling with the fact that the wife is six months into a career; she passed the bar and is now a prosecuting attorney. The husband, a surgeon, must adjust his thinking.

Unfortunately, though Richard Crenna--as seasoned and dependable a TV actor as there is--and Patty Duke Astin supply considerable warmth as the couple, there is none in the script. Harris' work is the bad result of the good breakthroughs made years ago by Norman Lear; her irreverence is the cheap, unsanitary kind. The show is a caustic bore.

Harris specializes, it would appear, in jokes about death. Near the beginning of the show, the husband and wife are discussing the case of a youth accused of murder. The defense had claimed the boy was from a broken home, the wife says, snarling, "Of course he comes from a broken home; he killed his father." When the audience has stopped howling at this, she says, "The kid walked into an all-night market and shot the checker 'cause they didn't have Oreos." More screams.

As the wife's mother, Billie Bird has a fetching, daft, offbeat delivery, but she doesn't get much to deliver. Discussing the inadvisability of arguing over a meal, she recalls a donnybrook she had with her husband. "And then right in the middle of the fight, he dropped dead," she says, to roars. "If we hadn't been fighting, he wouldn't have died, and he could have had dessert." (Laughter.) "It was no tragedy that night because it was only canned pears." (Chuckles.)

At this point, the teen-age daughter enters saying, "I'm really grossed, really really grossed," because she has just found a pimple on her face. Programs like this are pimples on the face of television--the pizza-face of television, as it were. "It Takes Two" was directed by Jay Sandrich, who once filled the same role on Mary Tyler Moore's show. How he must miss taking pride in his work!