"Make new Friends, but keep the old; one is silver and the other's gold." In the year of the Friends' clones, that sure is good advice. There are a few that will make you laugh, but there are also a few that won't.
The Lawrence brothers, Joey, Matthew and Andy, star in Brotherly Love, (Sunday, 7 p.m. NBC), the story of three brothers and their widowed mom (Melinda Culea). Matthew, the 15-year-old, has the Joey Lawrence "Whoa" thing going for him,which is not a good thing. The youngest Lawrence brother, Andy, is the best part of the show; he steals every scene he's in. 33
Also on Sunday is Almost Perfect (8:30 p.m. CBS). Nancy Travis stars as an executive producer on a police drama, and Kevin Kilner is a D.A. They're too busy for a relationship, and are desperately trying to find time for each other. It has a lot of potential, and I really enjoyed it. 333
One of the more obvious and better Friends knockoffs is Partners (Monday, 9:00 p.m. Fox) from two ex-producers of Friends. Owen (Tare Donovan) and Alicia (Mafia Pitillo) are engaged, and Bob (Jon Cryer) is beginning to feel a bit left out. It will remind you of Friends, but it will also make you laugh like Friends. 333 1/2
Another Fox comedy is Ned and Stacey (Monday 9:30 p.m. Fox). Thomas Haden Church (from Wings) and Debra Messing star as two lonely people who are in a marriage of convenience. He needs it for a promotion, she needs an apartment. 333
If Not For You (Monday, 9:30 CBS) stars Elizabeth McGovern as a woman engaged to an incredibly boring man who doesn't get her jokes and Hank Azaara as a man engaged to a sickeningly sweet woman who holds workshops for the dying. The only problem is that these people would never be together in the first place, so we're not at all surprised when McGovern and Azaria meet and fall in love. This show looks interesting and could have potential. 3331/2
Tony Danza is back C in Hudson Street (Tuesday, 8:30 p.m. ABC) as a divorced detective who hasn't had a formal date since the Carter administration. He's very good, but then again, he usually is. The show itself isn't all that great. 33
The Drew Carey Show (Wedne-sday, 8:30 p.m. ABC) stars Drew Carey as an assistant personnel director at a department store. The show is funny, but Carey's delivery is somewhat wooden, and at times, sounds more like a stand-up act than a sitcom. It's somewhat of a spin-off of Friends, but a good one, at that. 333
One of my favorite new shows is The Naked Truth (Wednesday, 9:30 p.m. ABC). Tea Leoni is fabulous as a just-divorced photographer who starts a job at a tabloid newspaper. 3331/2
The winner of the much coveted time slot after Friends is The Single Guy (Thursday, 8:30 p.m. NBC). Jonathan Silverman stars as an unmarried writer (hence, the title) whose married friends are forever trying to set him up. This show will remind you of its lead-in, but isn't nearly as good. 331/2
Up against The Single Guy is The Crew (Thursday, 8:30 p.m. Fox), which is about four flight attendants, four not-very-funny flight attendants. 31/2
Lea Thompson stars in Caroline in the City (Thursday, 9:30 p.m. NBC) as a lonely cartoonist. The show is almost guaranteed success because of its time slot, but it would probably do well even without that. Malcolm Getz is great as her cat-fearing assistant, who, as I'm sure we all know, will wind up being one of her dearest and closest friends. 333 1/2
The most anticipated new show of the season was Murder One (Thursday, 10 p.m. ABC), and with good reason. This legal drama follows one case through the entire season, as well as an additional case each episode. The plan is to offer a more realistic, in-depth look at our justice system. (In case you're wondering, this was planned before the 0.J. case.) The show's only problem is that is up against ER. ABC's Ted Harbert says they will protect it, but he's one of the guys who helped ax My So-Called Life, so we'll see. 333 1/2
Dweebs (Friday, 8:00 p.m. CBS) stars Peter Scolari, and Corey Feldman as computer hackers and Farrah Forke as the office manager who changes their life. The first episode was a little too "picture-perfect," but it was still enjoyable. 333
The best new comedy of the season may very well be The Bonnie Hunt Show, (Friday, 8:30 p.m. CBS), starting, as I'm sure you can guess, Bonnie Hunt. She plays a TV reporter in this partially scripted, partially improvised David Letterman-produced sitcom. The show is very real and very funny. 3333
Fox has always had bad luck with its pre-X-Files time slot. Now it's trying for Strange Luck (Friday, 8 p.m. Fox), starting D.B. Sweeny as the appropriately named Chance Harper. Ever since he survived a plane crash as a child, Chance has had luck C good luck, bad luck, and just plain strange luck. The show follows this photographer through his nightly distractions. 333
The most controversial new show of the season is American Gothic (Friday, 10 p.m. CBS). You'll either love it, or you'll hate it. I loved it. A picture-perfect Southern town is the setting for this eerie and sometimes ironically humorous show. In it, you'll see a corpse crying tears of blood, and blood spelling messages on the door. But you won't see a girl beaten nearly to death with a shovel. Those will be left to your imagination because CBS wanted the violence of the pilot toned down. The show is still quite chilling, thanks to incredible music (by Joseph LuDuca) and an outstanding performance by the somber Lucas Black. American Gothic is a great show, but I definitely wouldn't recommend watching while you're home alone. 3333
Some other tried-and-true favorites not to miss: On Mad About You (Sunday, 8 p.m. NBC).
I know that it's difficult to stomach 30 minutes of Cybill Shepherd, but Cybill (Sunday, 8 p.m. CBS) is worth watching just for Christine Baranski.
Look for Paul (Pee-Wee Herman) to return as Murphy's faithful secretary on future episodes of Murphy Brown (Monday, 9 p.m. CBS).
Friends will be there for us, but now in its new time slot C 8 p.m. Thursday on NBC. Monica will lose her chef's job, but may get a boyfriend; Rachel will be jealous of Ross and his new girlfriend; and we finally get to meet Phoebe's grandmother.
The X-Files (Friday, 9 p.m. Fox) returns with Mulder and Scully against, among others, a kid struck
by lightning, a reluctant psychic, an alien bounty hunter, and a death-row prisoner
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.