Archive for Tuesday, March 9, 2004

Sitcoms hop aboard crazy train

March 9, 2004

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Two new sitcoms debut tonight, and both share the same theme. Let's call it neurotics without borders.

After the success of "Seinfeld" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm," comedy now relies on characters who skipped basic lessons in self-control and went directly into therapy.

Folks who can't abide Larry David's unhinged id in "Curb" will cringe at the inappropriate outbursts in the marriage therapy comedy "Significant Others" (8 p.m., Bravo). But those who love "Curb" should pounce on "Significant." After all, if one grown-up baby is funny, imagine a half-dozen whining adults, each complaining about their inadequate spouses with embarrassing frankness.

  • Sitcoms have always had "wacky" and eccentric characters, but, by and large, networks have tastefully refrained from labeling them mentally ill. Jason Schwartzman stars in "Cracking Up" (8:30 p.m., Fox) as a graduate psychology student who moves in with a "normal" family to counsel their troubled son. Soon, he discovers that the little boy is normal and the rest of the family is deeply disturbed. It's about as funny as it sounds.

Tonight's other highlights

  • A bar brawl and a band's debut unfold during a two-hour "Gilmore Girls" (7 p.m., WB).
  • Shandi's "Dolce Vita" indiscretion sends her into a tailspin on "America's Next Top Model" (8 p.m., UPN).
  • A new precinct chief (John O'Donohue) arrives on "NYPD Blue" (9 p.m., ABC).

Late night

Bette Midler and Howie Day appear on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno welcomes Snoop Dogg and Ralphie May on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC).

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