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You probably don’t remember, but Profit was a wittily bleak show about corporate shark and high-functioning sociopath Jim Profit (the magnificently oily Adrian Pasdar), who’d been raised in a cardboard box and parented by an always-turned-on TV set.
Less a dig at big business than a fulmination against all media culture, Profit was the funniest scary drama of the year.
So far, the David-less new season has been uneven but agreeably wacky.
High point thus far: Michael Richards’ Kramer accidentally entering the corporate world and having his entire business career rise and fall in the space of 30 minutes.
Very often, Larry Sanders is so funny I have to choke back a guffaw lest I miss the next punchline.
And I can’t think of another sitcom that repays taping and repeated viewing as well.
True, Lisa Kudrow’s Phoebe seems stuck in a dumb-chick rut, and David Schwimmer’s Ross is becoming dismayingly sappy.
As he proved with the brief, terrific South Central (1994), producer-creator Ralph Farquhar knows how to bring African-American life to television without disguising or cheapening it.
THE FIVE WORST 1 ARLI$$ (HBO) A lot of sitcoms contain no laughs, but arid Arli$$ isn’t just mirthless, it’s the year’s most pathetic rip-off.
Dave Foley, as the radio station’s put-upon news director, is probably the subtlest actor in sitcoms, whereas Phil Hartman and Andy Dick thrive on reckless excess.
And it’s apology time: A while back, I tagged Joe Rogan as a Tony Danza wannabe; Rogan’s smart work this season as dim fix-it guy Joe made my remarks seem churlish.
This season, Anthony La Paglia replaced Benzali and offered a hero who was prickly and arrogant in a more engaging way.