Ken Tucker
September 10, 1993 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Tall Hopes

TV Show
Current Status
In Season
Terrence Howard, Kenny Blank

We gave it a C-

The barely beating heart of Tall Hopes is in the right place. This summer-tryout sitcom, about an African-American family with a big, kind of dumb, athletic son, Chet (Terrence Dashon Howard), and a small, kind of brilliant, studious son, Ernest (Kenny Blank), wants to teach us that racial stereotypes are ridiculous. This is admirable, but it’s not funny. The debut’s plot revolved around Chet’s trying to get Ernest to do his homework for him; Chet wants to go to a basketball game, and part of the bribe for Ernest involves a new pair of expensive sneakers. Tall Hopes‘ weak script includes a silly, blustering father (stand-up comedian George Wallace, who does the best with what he’s handed) and a firm, wise mother (Anna Maria Horsford, of Amen and Rhythm & Blues). The entire show is as earnest as young Ernest, but that’s not enough. C-

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