It’s awfully nice that Fox, the network whose sitcoms used to specialize in male sexist piggery, should now give an hour to two new shows featuring women as strong protagonists. Alas, both Party Girl and Lush Life seem lamentably wrongheaded. Party Girl, based on last year’s feature film, replaces Parker Posey with Christine Taylor, so good as Marcia in the Brady Bunch movies. As a ditz who shakes her groove thing at night and works in a library by day, however, Taylor isn’t given anything to do other than impersonate Alicia Silverstone, which is disappointing — as she proves in Bunch, this is an actress who knows where the party is.
Better to disappoint than to irritate, though: Lush Life stars Lori (Tank Girl) Petty and Karyn (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) Parsons as swingin’-single roommates. You can glean that the producers had a good idea — a sitcom that explores the bond between two smart, aggressive women — but the jokes are meager and the whole enterprise seems curiously rushed — relax, women! Then, too, Petty gives the most peculiarly stilted line readings of this young TV season. I’m being harder on Lush because it has more promise — I’m interested in odd-couple characters — but it’s promise unfulfilled.
Party Girl and Lush Life both hope to benefit from their lead-in show, Melrose Place, but these days, the ludicrous Melrose is funnier. Party Girl: C Lush Life: C-