Fall '99: "Odd Man Out"
The hook to this latest in a long line of indistinguishable Friday night family sitcoms is that 15-year old Andrew is the only son of a widowed mother and shares the house with three sisters, making him literally the Odd Man Out. Get it?
Markie Post takes time off from Lifetime movies about rescuing her daughter from dangerous men to phone in a performance as the mother. Aside from Post, if you've seen any of the other actors before, you spend far too much time reading Teen People.
Erik Von Detten, who looks like he was the very last one to go when the Backstreet Boys made their final roster cutdown, plays Andrew. Given the current sad state of pop culture, expect to see Erik on the cover of Tiger Beat for the next five years. Other than Von Detten, the only one who stands out is Natalia Cigliuti, the beautiful sister intent on making it as a model, who will make male channel-flippers pause just long enough to realize that they're ogling jail bait.
The writing sucks and the characters are straight out of the Sitcom Factory, Generic Unfunny Family Division. There's even a wacky neighbor kid with a crush on the beautiful sister whose only job on the show appears to be wilting whenever she walks into the room. Funny, funny stuff.
But what do you expect from TIGF? These shows used to be relatively harmless, but things have changed. Their position on Friday nights puts Sabrina, The Teenage Witch and Odd Man Out in direct competition with Now and Again, by far the best new show of the season. And as we all know, when greatness battles tripe in the American television landscape, it's usually tripe that scores the knockout blow.
So maybe there is a good reason to hate Odd Man Out. At least until it moves to 8:00 or 8:30. Then you can safely resume ignoring it, which is really all this show deserves.
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