Picks and Pans Review: The Parent 'hood

updated 01/30/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/30/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

WB (Wednesdays, 8:30 p.m. ET)

C +

Filmmaker Robert Townsend takes another ungainly dive into television in this sitcom about black baby boomers engaged in an often-queasy struggle to raise four children of their own. Townsend plays a New York college professor. His wife (Suzzanne Douglas) is a law student.

The kids, as so often happens on TV, are off-puttingly precocious and obnoxiously manipulative. The only funny one is Curtis Williams, a chubby little cherub missing a few front teeth. The only amusing ancillary character so far has been Faizon Love in a guest appearance as a dense ex-con handyman.

The intent of Parent Hood was clearly to fashion a Cosby Show for the '90s. But the structure, the timing and the humor are all strictly standard, even a little clich├ęd. To boost its hipness quotient, the show's pilot included a cameo from rapper Coolio. It didn't helpio.

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