Locals won't see it at first, but 'Girls' humor soars

September 21, 1994|By David Zurawik | David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic

The saddest news of the new TV season might be that "Daddy's Girls" is blacked out in Baltimore.

CBS' new sitcom starring Dudley Moore and Harvey Fierstein isn't being shown by WBAL (Channel 11) in these final months of its affiliate marriage to CBS. Instead, the station will show reruns of "Who's the Boss?" at 8:30 Wednesday nights until the three-way affiliate switch Jan. 2. If you want to see "Daddy's Girls," it will be on WUSA (Channel 9) in Washington.

"Daddy's Girls" is a verbal -- some might say brittle -- comedy about life in the fashion industry. The lines and jokes fly so fast they nearly break the sound barrier.

Moore plays a recently divorced clothing manufacturer. Fierstein plays Moore's designer, one of the first openly gay characters on network series TV.

If you haven't seen Fierstein on Broadway or in the movies, be prepared. He is gay, he is tart, he is outrageous, he refuses to go unnoticed. Fierstein is fabulous, and he is sorely missed in the scenes tonight in which he is absent.

The rest of the cast consists of Dudley's three daughters -- three bombshells, actually, who would never be mistaken for rocket scientists.

One is getting married, one wants to help daddy run his business and one is kept intellectually occupied by dating.

The scenes in which Fierstein and Moore appear together absolutely soar with timing, laughs and wonderful reaction shots from both actors -- yes, even from Moore.

When the camera turns to the daughters, however -- well, let's just say that none of these actresses needs to worry about keeping Emmy night open next fall.

The story lines and jokes in "Daddy's Girls" center on clothes, sex, romance, sex, romance, clothes . . . You get the idea.

It's a deeply superficial comedy. The most tragic note of the half-hour is when one of the characters realizes, "All I can get is synthetic!"

There is also an absorbing discussion about the properties of silk jersey vs. cotton jersey, and, right on its heels, we're faced with the old natural fibers vs. man-made dilemma.

Thank goodness someone on TV is taking these things seriously.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.