Picks and Pans Review: Throb

UPDATED 10/20/1986 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 10/20/1986 at 01:00 AM EDT

Syndicated (Check local listings)

A-

The networks are giving us 29 sitcoms now. An overdose, you say. Well, keep swallowing. That's just prime time. Stations also are buying new syndicated sitcoms for other hours—including a new Gidget, a new Danny Thomas show and another rendition of 9 to 5. And a couple of cable networks, USA and Showtime, are making their own sitcoms. That's at least 10 more. Most of them are dreary dreck, but there are exceptions, namely It's Garry Shandling's Show on Showtime, which I've already gushed over, and Throb. This one stars Diana (Soap) Canova as a single mother and child of the '60s who works for a record company named Throb. At only 33, Diana is the old lady of the office, the only one who's ever twisted (as opposed to being twisted). In one episode Throb wants a punk group called the Bleeding Gums to rerecord a '50s hit, a song Diana swooned to at her prom, a song that "caused quite a hickey epidemic in my particular crowd." She meets the songwriter; he develops a crush on her; she rejects him—but sweetly. The story could add up to a predictable pile of single-mother, single-woman, working-woman gags. But it doesn't. When Canova stares into a mirror to see just how old she looks, she doesn't whine, wail or make cheap wrinkle jokes. She says she's proud of her laugh lines because "there's a lot of good times stuck in these cheeks." Absolutely charming.

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