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TV Review: Progress gets lost in 'Lost at Home'

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

By Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor

TV comedy has been in a funk for several years now, with many in the industry blaming it on sitcoms that lack a point of view. ABC's "Lost at Home" has one, but its premise is so thin it requires the characters to forget everything they learn each week and return to square one.

"Lost at Home"

When: 9:30 tonight on ABC.

Starring: Mitch Rouse, Connie Britton.


Mitch Rouse stars as Michael, the latest sitcom Dumb Daddy, who wakes up one morning to discover that his wife (Connie Britton) plans to leave him if he doesn't get more involved in the family's home life.

"I don't know you anymore; you're vague to me," she complains.

Michael is too wrapped up in his career, spending too much time at an ad agency office with his boss, Jordan (Gregory Hines).

"When you're not in love, it's your work that defines you 'cause that's all you've got," Jordan advises Michael, who still clearly loves his wife.

So the dilapidated dad sets out to right his wrongs, spending more time with his family and getting reconnected to his children. Maybe as a one-shot movie, "Lost at Home" would work. But as a weekly series, it requires Michael to take two steps forward, one step back each week, a tedious routine.

Written by sitcom veteran Michael Jacobs ("Boy Meets World," "Charles in Charge," "My Two Dads"), tonight's premiere shows just how disconnected Michael has become when he arrives home for dinner to discover there's no longer a spot for him at the kitchen table. It's an OK half-hour -- better than last week's ABC sitcom premiere, "Regular Joe," but not as welcome a diversion as, say, "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter."

A future episode is more problematic. Michael isn't on the approved list to get his youngest child out of school, so he pulls a fire alarm to illegally achieve that goal. Dumb Daddy is one thing, but does he have to be dumb and criminal?

Rob Owen can be reached at rowen@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2582. Post questions or comments to www.post-gazette.com/tv under TV Forum.

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