Fox's 'Get a Life' is silly fun

September 21, 1990|By Michael Hill | Michael Hill,Evening Sun Staff

FOX'S NEW "Get a Life" is one of those shows you might find yourself laughing at despite your better judgment.

It's silly. It's stupid. It has no redeeming social value. It's not even a sitcom really, just an extended comedy sketch. But, face it, as he has proven on David Letterman's "Late Night," Chris Elliott is a pretty funny guy. And when you give him a half hour of prime time, he does some pretty funny stuff.

Elliott plays Chris Peterson, who, at the age of 30, lives above the garage of his parents' Minneapolis home and, when he heads out to work every morning, clambers aboard his trusty two-wheeler and delivers papers.

He's supposed to be a happy-go-lucky man-child, a sitcom version of Zippy the Pinhead. But he also shows a sophisticated, insightful sense of humor and comedy.

So who cares if it's inconsistent? It's funny. That seems to be the rule that governs the creative team behind "Get a Life," of which Elliott is the prime mover.

The landscape is littered with references to television shows, movies, pop culture, popular products and all the other debris of post-modern culture. For instance, there's the casting of Bob Elliott of Bob and Ray fame, as Chris' father, who, by the way, is also his real father. Elinor Donahue, formerly of "Father Knows Best," plays his mother.

The parents sit in their kitchen and are alternately bemused and frustrated by their son, depending on what sort of gag they are setting up.

The other recurring characters are Chris' best friend, Larry Potter, played by Sam Robards, and his spoilsport wife, Sharon, played by Robin Riker.

In the first episode, which airs Sunday at 8:30 on Channel 45 (WBFF), Chris talks Larry into skipping out of his accountant's job for the day and going to the opening of the new super-duper roller coaster at the local amusement park.

The guys have a great time acting like little kids, but then the coaster gets stuck in mid-loop, the two men get on TV, Larry's wife and boss find out, and it's thin ice time for a while.

"Get a Life" is something of an amusement park, fun but totally unconnected to reality. It's also sort of like the cotton candy Chris and Larry chow down on before hitting the big coaster -- it looks so inviting, but once you eat it, you discover that there's really not much of anything there, certainly nothing of substance.

Like cotton candy, "Get a Life" is a show you may outgrow in a few weeks.

"Get A Life"

** Chris Peterson is 30 years old and looks like he'll make a career out of the paper route he bicycles every day as he tries to maintain a 10-year-old's approach to life.

CAST: Chris Elliott, Bob Elliott

TIME: Sundays at 8:30 p.m.

CHANNEL: Fox Channel 45 (WBFF)

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