As the first sitcom centered on the survivors of a nuclear holocaust, Woops! plays the Ultimate Disaster for laughs. Hey, I like laughing at the apocalypse as much as the next guy, but from its title on down, Woops! is depressingly timid, displaying far too little of the Fox network's time-honored tastelessness.
For one thing, politics never intrude here the explosion was just a big mistake, a few bombs that went off by accident. And the survivors, who gather in an abandoned farmhouse to rebuild the world together, are a dully democratic assortment of types: uptight WASP (Lane Davies), smiley bimbo (Marita Geraghty), stuffy African-American physician (Cleavant Derricks), humorless feminist woman (Meagen Fay), plucky homeless man (Fred Applegate), and our narrator-hero, a Woody Allen-ish teacher played by Evan Handler. The jokes are predictable, all on the order of, ''That tears it the last tube of toothpaste in the world, and someone squeezes it in the middle!'' Woops! makes its Sunday-night neighbor, Herman's Head, look elegantly witty; maybe Woops! is just a nightmare in Herman's head. Fox should rouse itself and cancel both shows. D