Picks and Pans Review: Lip Service

updated 10/17/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/17/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

HBO (Mon., Oct. 17, 10 p.m. ET)


It is either ego or ignorance that motivates producers and stars to follow a tough act like Broadcast News. That movie did a brilliant job of capturing the idiocy behind the business of television. But now here comes a talented team (led by Pulitzered playwright David Mamet as an executive producer) taking aim at the same target. Their weapons are broad comedy and unsubtle satire. Paul (Coming of Age) Dooley plays the comfortable and frankly dull host of a local morning show, and Griffin Dunne is the overbearing and none-too-bright young guy who is imported as Dooley's co-host. Dunne is "really into people." He is a neon parody of TV types everywhere. He fills their show with fluff, with pictures of people in malls imitating animals. Eventually, of course, Dooley is fired, and then Dunne asks him that classic TV question: "How do you feel?" That's a neat moment, and Lip Service has more of them—but not enough. This talented team forgot to follow my Ninth Rule of TV: If you're going to be second, you'd better be better.

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