Picks and Pans Review: Heart and Soul
NBC (Thurs., July 21, 8:30 p.m. ET)
The uh-oh sign comes early when a black female singer wiggles her rump, acts bitchy and plumbs the same depths of racist, sexist stereotyping first charted by 227's Jackee. It appears at that moment that NBC is on its way to making the same mistake it did with 227, Amen and A Different World—the mistake of thinking that Cosby is a black show, not just a hit show, and of trying to copy Cosby's success by creating other black shows with characters who act funny by acting like fools. The lead fool in this grounded pilot for a new series is pop-funk singer Morris Day, who plays a record producer. With his skimpy moustache and high voice, he looks and sounds like a cartoon version of his old Twin Cities pal—like a clown prince. As a supporting fool, comic Barry Sobel plays a white boy in the mailroom who tries to talk black. But believe it or not, the show picks up from there. Day and his less flamboyant partner, Clark (Wild Thing) Johnson, try to hire Tisha Campbell as a sweet young singer with a super voice and an overprotective papa. Johnson and Campbell bring some calm humanity to this circus and let us see that with a little editing, some more social conscience and a few tranquilizers, Heart and Soul could have been good.
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