Picks and Pans Review: Battle of the Generations

updated 07/02/1979 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/02/1979 01:00AM

NBC (9 p.m. ET)

In a waste-not mood, NBC has packaged four leftover half-hour comedy pilots into a two-hour maxiflop. The only tolerable segment is the multiple-entendre-filled But Mother, in which Dena Dietrich snappily plays a retired madam with a 20ish daughter (Amy Johnston). Starting Fresh involves a similar setup—matronly Lynette Mettey, just starting College, is raising daughter Kimberly Beck, who happens to be a classmate. The patter is tedious, the mood dull. On The Paul Williams Show, the gifted, if strange, composer plays a TV kiddie-show host in a chaotic morass long on jokes about being small and short on laughs. Completing the matched set is the tasteless Home Again, with Darren McGavin as a bachelor police chief who encounters his illegitimate teenage son (Michael Horton). Someday social historians will explore how the culture evolved so fast from Father Knows Best to shows like this.

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