Picks and Pans Review: The Byrds of Paradise

updated 03/21/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/21/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

ABC (Thursdays, 8 p.m. ET)


Aloha. Timothy Busfield (thirtysomething) plays a Yale professor and widower with three children who decides to make a fresh start in Hawaii as a prep-school headmaster.

The show is simply (and simply) a Polynesian version of Going to Extremes, last year's series about medical-school students in the Caribbean. It runs aground on the same shoals: a slavishly metronomic seriocomic-rhythm, an attitude toward the native population that vacillates between glorification and condescension, overwritten scripts and a parade of tortuously idiosyncratic minor characters.

The supporting cast includes the Barbara Carrera-like Elizabeth Lindsey as a faculty member, the Charles Laughton-like Warren Frost as the island's gruff patron and the Bruce Weitz-like Bruce Weitz as a beachfront family therapist from Brooklyn. Busfield is a gifted actor, but he's reduced to Father Knows Best posturing here.

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