03/16/1998 at 01:00 AM EST
ABC (Wednesdays, 9:30 p.m. ET)
If you can't handle a full hour of Significant Others (or Two Guys, a Girl and a Load of Angst), you may want to switch to this ABC series, trying out in Ellen's slot until that show returns on April 22. The latest in a long line of Friends facsimiles, the new sitcom (developed, then dropped by Fox) concerns Berg (Ryan Reynolds) and Pete (Richard Ruccolo), graduate students and pizzeria workers sharing a Boston apartment downstairs from their former undergraduate housemate Sharon (Traylor Howard), who now earns filthy lucre selling industrial chemicals. Nothing too original is happening here. In the March 18 episode, the girl has a new boyfriend and the two guys—surprise—don't approve. But Pete (field: architecture; type: worry-wart) and Berg (field: philosophy, for the moment; type: slacker) are an amusing study in contrasts. Reynolds is like a young, less ingratiating John Ritter. David Ogden Stiers (M*A*S*H) is funny in the March 11 pilot as a pizza-joint patron who recounts movie plots as if they were part of his life story. But after a couple of episodes more, this one-joke character grows as stale as week-old pepperoni and cheese.