TELEVISION: NO LATTES, NO BELLY BUTTONS

TWO NEW SITCOMS, BOTH WITH TOP PEDIGREES, TURN THEIR BACKS ON TRENDINESS. UNFORTUNATELY, THEY ALSO TURN THEIR BACKS ON WIT

FRIENDS CLONES ARE PILING UP like drifts this season. Viewers of such shows as Caroline in the City and Partners have been inundated by a flurry of awful blind dates, a blizzard of mistaken sexual identities, a foot and a half to two feet of jokes ending with the punch line "Anna Nicole Smith." And yet, to the credit of these comedies, rarely--if ever--do they pause for a would-be-poignant, piano-accompanied contemplation of the world's social ills. It may not be inventive, but we can rest assured there will never be a very special Single Guy about date rape.

Two midseason comedies...

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