TV Reviews : ‘Sibs’ Has Its Moments and Possibilities but. . .
Put “Sibs” down as one of those comedy series with possibilities, only some of which are realized in its special premiere at 9:30 tonight on ABC (Channels 7, 3, 10 and 42). It airs in its regular 9:30 Wednesday time slot starting Sept. 25.
Reliable Nora Ruscio (Marsha Mason) and her suffering husband, Howie (Alex Rocco), have made plans to spend more time together. But no soap, thanks to demands placed on her by her job and younger sisters. Lily (Jami Gertz) is the infantile neurotic one, devastated when she is dumped by her boyfriend. Audie (Margaret Colin) is the hard-boiled neurotic one, her career as a real estate agent destroyed by the collapsing market.
Plus there’s the office.
Nora’s old boss has died. Howie: “How’d he die?” Nora: “He was mugged in a subway.” Howie: “Oh . . . natural causes.”
And Nora’s nasty new boss, Warren (Dan Castellaneta), is jealous because the customers like her best. Warren: “They like you because you do more than do their books. You . . . " Nora: “Act like a human being?” Warren: “So you admit it!”
Thus, “Sibs” does have its moments, some precision-timed, tartly funny one-liners and subtle throwaways reminiscent of “The Tracey Ullman Show,” where talented series creator Heide Perlman last worked. Also in its favor is a cast that ranks with the best in prime time.
Yet elements of the premiere--especially Lily’s shrill response to losing her boyfriend--are just way over the top. The problem is she doesn’t . . . .
Act like a human being? Exactly.
“Sibs” surely merits another look. And if nothing else, Alex Rocco will always have Moe Green.