Ken Tucker
October 08, 1993 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The vehemently titled It Had to Be You (CBS, Fridays, 8-8:30 p.m.) is actually one of the season’s vaguest, most ambivalent new sitcoms. The casting of TV perennial Robert Urich and movie star Faye Dunaway as odd-couple lovers is almost perversely capricious. Watching these two utterly different acting styles share scenes, you immediately realize that, great old song title to the contrary, it really didn’t have to be them. The silliness of It Had‘s premise—Urich is a working-class carpenter in Boston who romances Dunaway’s publishing-world sophisticate; he has three sons from a previous marriage, she gazes at children as if they were Martians—is merely an excuse for the stars to engage in watered-down Tracy-Hepburn banter.

All that said, both Urich and Dunaway do their jobs with considerable energy and resourcefulness. Urich seems relaxed and natural, while Dunaway is arch and stylized—I’ll bet viewers who like her film work will be intrigued by the way she bends her volatile-grande-dame movie persona to fit into a sitcom structure, and those who don’t will find her off-puttingly formal. Ultimately, the very unlikeliness of this pairing takes on a loopy credibility: Don’t we all know real-life couples who don’t seem to belong together, but who, against all odds and temperaments, get along just duckily? C+

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