Television: The 1979-80 Season: II

Hilarious Associates, vacant Resort, limp Lightning

The Associates (Sept. 23, ABC, 8:30 p.m. E.D.T.) Take away the commercials, and a sitcom is only 26 minutes long. Most TV comedy writers use this fact as a justification for giving the audience as little as they can: a couple of laughs, one unexpected plot twist, a happy ending. Yet it does not have to be that way. When those 26 minutes are in the hands of precise miniaturists instead of slobs, TV's most familiar formula suddenly offers a bonanza of comic and emotional possibilities.

The proof...

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