Candice Bergen and company have resoundingly defeated the sophomore jinx: The second season of Murphy Brown was even better than the first, expanding the parameters of its characters’ behavior and providing lots of belly laughs.

The wit that always bubbled beneath the surface of this sitcom in its first season has been brought forth: Bergen has perfected a way of making her harsh voice and stiff movements work as the mannerisms of a tough, intelligent news broadcaster— in other words, she’s very good and getting better.

If Faith Ford’s portrayal of Corky has become too broad, Grant Shaud’s Miles Silverberg is increasingly subtle. Conceived as a stereotypical yuppie, Miles is now a complex character — overweeningly ambitious but sensitive, a charming pain-in-the-neck.

And the brilliant episode in which Morgan Fairchild played an actress researching her role for a TV sitcom just like Murphy Brown was the best-written half-hour of any show of the season. A

Murphy Brown
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