Picks and Pans Review: Sunday Dinner
CBS (Sundays, 8 P.M. ET)
In this simpy summer replacement series created by Norman Lear, Robert (Mancuso, F.B.I.) Loggia plays a 56-year-old widower who falls for a 30-year-old beauty, played by Teri (Tango and Cash) Hatcher. She's a cosmic cadet who talks to God directly, addressing the Deity, as Jimmy Olsen did Perry White, as Chief.
The unlikely romance greatly upsets Loggia's three grown children: a neurotic doctoral candidate (Martha Gehman), a dim bimbette (Kari Lizer) and a get-rich-quick schemer (Patrick Breen) who keeps uttering labored malaprops like "a consommé most devoutly to be wished." Marian (It's a Living) Mercer plays Loggia's sister, the rarely heard voice of reason.
This anti-Norman Rockwell tableau of a sitcom might not seem so overwritten, unconvincingly acted and unfunny if each of the first six shows weren't followed immediately by an early episode of Lear's classic All in the Family. That programming tandem only emphasizes how undernourishing Sunday Dinner is.
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