"SOMEONE Like Me" debuted with considerable fanfare last...


March 23, 1994

"SOMEONE Like Me" debuted with considerable fanfare last week, promoted as an innovative, "coming of age" television sitcom told from the viewpoint of a 12-year-old girl.

Slyly, the canny network withheld the first episode from advance viewing by critics, but the concept alone was enough to stir critical rapture. O frabjous day! Callooh, callay! Gender equity wins the day!

Alas, the network couldn't quit winners. Sooner or later, it had to unveil the show. "Someone Like Me" aired last week, and someone like we is (are?) minded to remark that the show resembles no girls we have ever seen, and come to think of it the others aren't about boys, either. All of them are about adorable half-pint comedians with the ripened cynicism of 40-year-olds, toying with adorable thick-witted parents with the fresh innocence of 10-year-olds.

In the premiere episode, 12-year-old Gaby told a little fib to cover her elder sister's clandestine rendezvous, but aw, darn! the 'rents (that's pa-rents to you) found out. A laugh track helpfully identified the jokes.

Sample joke: . . . no, wait . . . We forgot it already, but the laugh track went bananas.

It was smart of the network not to let the critics see the show before they reviewed it. Smarter still would be to enforce a six-month vacation from all television for all critics so they could spend some time with their families and find out what real children are like.

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