We gave it a D-
This sitcom spoof is more interesting as a business phenomenon than as entertainment. Hi Honey, I’m Home is the first TV show that will run every week on both commercial and cable networks. Each Friday-night episode of Hi Honey will be repeated on cable’s Nick at Nite, Sundays at 8:30 and 11 p.m., starting July 21. The series is produced by Nickelodeon at the cable channel’s Orlando, Fla., studios. The result is a cozy deal for both networks: ABC gets an independently produced, relatively inexpensive show; Nickelodeon gets what amounts to a commercial-network plug and looks like it’s playing with the big boys.
The bottom line for the viewer is that you will have three opportunities a week to be stunned by the banality of this show, which speculates on what might happen if ’50s sitcom characters moved in next door to a family of the ’90s. In the debut we are told that the stars of a four-decade-old show called Hi Honey, I’m Home have been moved to a contemporary New Jersey suburb as part of the Sitcom Relocation Program (that gets a big laugh from the studio audience).
The jokes consist of predictable cultural misunderstandings — these ’50s squares don’t understand what a microwave is or what such modern phrases as ”they take plastic” mean. The show also has its share of annoying sociological messages, as when the ’90s mom (Susan Cella) learns that she really shouldn’t think of the ’50s mom (Charlotte Booker) as an idiot just because Booker’s character is a full-time housewife.
As for the quality of the acting — who can say? Since everyone is either an archetype or a cliché, all the actors deliver their campy lines in an identical, deadeningly stylized manner. The result is a half hour of grinning zombies. Watch Hi Honey and you might turn into a depressed zombie. D-