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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 20, 1984)
Tuesday, March 20, 1984
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By UiivC Frcct
The media is the message. OK, that's not an origi
nal thought, but neither is Suzanne Pleshette is
Maggie Briggs, the latest CBS sitcom offering.
The message is original concepts don't amount to
a hill of beans in the crazy world (admittedly, not a
new notion, either). Suzanne Plcshctte is Maggie'
Briggs (no kidding, that is the show's correct name)
is a hybrid of every successful sitcom that has ever
aired on television. Maggie Briggs i3 sort of a news
paper version of Mary Richards, and Walter, her
compadre, is a lovable old gruff, who eerily resem
bles Lou Grant.
The office is a lot like those we saw in both Mary
Tyler Moore and WKRP: There are a lot of people
scurrying around, claiming to be journalists, yet
they rarely do anything as off the wall as, say, work.
They sit around a lot, and talk about each other's
personal lives, always caring, always funny.
The show's humor resembles that of Pleshette's
last series, The Bob Newhart Stuno. And from watch
ing the love-hate relationship Briggs has with her
boss, you'd swear it was Cheers.
If they've got to copy sitcoms, at least they're using
enjoyable prototypes. MaggieBriggs, however, never
New Dolby album . . .
Continued from Page 10
Dolby is more than a songwriter; he is a composer.
Although Simple Minds has been around the
music scene about as long as Thomas Dolby, it has
not received much recognition in the United States.
Sparkle in the Rain (A&M) just may be their break
through album even more so than the mildly
successful 1 982 LP New Gold Dream.
The current album is in the tradition of New Gold
Dream. It's a lot classier than most of the newer
music out today. Somehow, they make their elec
tronic gadgetry sound like an orchestra, especially
in the instrumental "Shake Off the Ghosts."
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quite manages to become enjoyable.
It's more than the show's perpetual state of deja
vu that keeps it from taking off. The cast is remarka
bly weak. Pleshette was an excellent foil to Newhart,
but on M aggie Briggs she really doesn't have anyone
to play off oL Perhaps this is just because the show
has only been on the air a couple of weeks. However,
it does seem many of the characters here are dead
ends in terms of plot potential.
The show also suffers from a distinct air of
upwardly-mobile snottiness. This week's episode
involved Walter's reluctance to give lizzie a loan to
take a trip to Italy. Oh, if only I had a nickel for each
time IVe asked friends for a few measley thou to
take a trans-Atlantic sojourn. The show's premiere
concerned Maggie being transfered from news to
feature reporting. With unemployment hovering
around 8 percent, you somehow get the impression
her complaints are relatively minor. ,
Maggie Briggs could Vise above its own triviality.
The remedies aren't easy, the writers will have to
quit rushing to the sitcom entry in the Encyclopedia
Brittanica every time a plot complication i3 needed.
And a dominant character - be it Pleshette or one
of her cronies needs to be developed.
There's really nothing terrible about this series.
Unfortunately, there is nothing wonderful, either.
Not only do they write their own songs, they also
borrow from a most unusual source: Lou Reed.
"Street Hassle" combines their British sophistication
with a jazz background. They have successfully
adapted the song to their style.
"Waterfront," the new single, is representative of
the songs on the LP. It has an underlying driving
rock force with a soft edge.
Steve Lillywhite, one of the top producers of 1983,
produced the Simple Minds album effectively and
efficiently, squeezing the most he could out of their
potential as a major force in the future music scene.
Sparkle in the Rain is a calming, carefree album.
Just lay back, relax and let the music take over.
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