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'TV Review: Three Sisters' comedy could be charm for NBC

Tuesday, January 09, 2001

By Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor

NBC hasn't had much luck with sitcoms this season, but that may change with "Three Sisters," an amusing female bonding comedy that's a better companion to "Frasier" than "DAG."

"Three Sisters" is the TV equivalent of a chick flick, but it has a male narrator, so guys won't feel completely left out.

"Three Sisters"

When: 9:30 tonight on NBC

Starring: Katherine LaNasa, Vicki Lewis, A.J. Langer, Dyan Cannon.


Sane, nice sister Bess (Katherine LaNasa) is the show's ostensible center, however bitter sardonic sis Nora (Vicki Lewis) steals the show. She's smart and condescending, but insecure when it comes to dating. And despite the weird, breathy vocal affectation Lewis has adopted since her days on "NewsRadio," she stands out among the three sisters.

David Alan Basche plays Steven, Bess' husband and the show's narrator. He gets an explosively comic showcase in an upcoming episode when he rants at Bess' clingy family just prior to her going into labor.

A.J. Langer, late of "It's, like, you know..." and "My So-Called Life," plays the youngest sibling, Annie, who's a slightly ditzy free spirit.

Dyan Cannon ("Ally McBeal") and Peter Bonerz ("The Bob Newhart Show") star as the girls' parents. She's a former Playboy bunny who insists on being called "goddess" rather than "grandmother," while he's pretty much out of the loop save for the occasionally funny line of dialogue.

In addition to decent comedic dialogue in its first three episodes, "Three Sisters" also manages heartfelt moments without getting too icky sweet.

It's not an out-of-the-gate smash, but "Three Sisters" qualifies as one of the season's better new comedies and certainly NBC's best sitcom so far in the 2000-01 season. But as the network's track record shows, that's hardly high praise.

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