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Conrad Bloom aired from September until December 1998 on NBC.
An emiable copywrier at a New York advertising agency was dominated by women in this rather bland workplace comedy. Conrad ( Mark Feuerstein), dated a lot, but never seemed to get very far, perhaps because he let every woman in sight tell him what to do. There was wholesome ex-girlfriend Molly ( Lauren Graham); dippy cause-obsessed sister Nina ( Ever Carradine); gult inducing mom Florie ( Linda Lavin), who would say " Don't change your plans just for me"; domineering boss Faye( Paula Newsome), she would stand with her hands on her hips a lot; and new co-worker Shelley( Jessica Stone). They all wanted him to take care of their problems and he willingly obliged. George ( Steve Landesberg), was the burned-out adman still living in the '70's, whom Conrad for some reason admired.
A Review from Variety
(Sitcom; NBC, Mon. Sept. 21, 8:30 p.m.)
By RAY RICHMOND
Sep 18, 1998
Taped in Studio City by Pennette Prods. and Three Sisters Entertainment in association with NBC Studios. Executive producer, Marco Pennette; producer, Pamela Putch; director, James Burrows; writer, Pennette.
Conrad Bloom - Mark Feuerstein
Molly - Lauren Grahamm
Nina - Ever Carradine
Shelley - Jessica Stone
Faye - Paula Newsome
George Dorsey - Steve Landesberg
Florie - Linda Lavinn
Carol - Victoria Jackson
Simpson - Chris Parnell
Allison - Christina Mooree
Protester - Andy Berman
Mr. Chang - Keone Young
Mr. Kato - Raymond Ma
"Conrad Bloom" is bland as they come, rather like a glob of pizza dough without the sauce or cheese (and just as pasty white). It tells the story of a harried New York City ad copywriter named Conrad (Mark Feuerstein), a single fella who is pretty much dominated by the cadre of females swarming around him. The effect is not unlike being boiled alive in a vat of estrogen. Except that our hero doesn't seem to notice. He's too busy being affable, accommodating -- and dauntingly dull.
Most everyone seems to want a piece of this poor guy, forcing Conrad to base his existence around making nice and sacrificing his own needs. He gets all of the anxiety of being with all these women and none of the joys. It's kind like loading the bases and putting Mark McGwire up to bunt.
At least Steve Landesberg is around to elevate the modest laugh quotient a notch or two. Landesberg is in top sly form, portraying George Dorsey, a spacey burnout of an adman who was a legend in the 1970s, becoming Conrad's idol. Now, he's slacking it and surviving on his associate's reflected ambition. Not that Conrad has all that much time to do anything except deal with the demands on him posed by the ladies.
The women include wholesome ex-girlfriend Molly (Lauren Graham), his wiggy sister Nina (Ever Carradine), his recently-widowed, annoying mother Florie (Linda Lavin), the new-mom co-worker Shelley (Jessica Stone), his ballbusting boss Faye (Paula Newsome) and, in the pilot, Allison (Christina Moore), a nubile, patient woman whom Conrad is desperately trying to get into bed.
Exec producer Marco Pennette's premiere script is long on exasperated angst, short on humanity and laughs. Pennette is at least fortunate to have helmer extraordinaire James Burrows around to direct the pilot. He brings a sense of style to a show that makes you want very badly to stand up and scream, "Get away from that poor man already, will you? He needs a little space, for crying out loud!"
No such luck. Feuerstein is a likable enough zhlub, though his terminal sensitivity seems to recall a different era, one that predates the term co-dependency. Simply put, "Conrad Bloom" gives us a man who would be wise to change his identity and a group of women who need to 12-step themselves straightaway into Conrad Anonymous.
Sandwiched as "Conrad" is between "Suddenly Susan" and "Caroline in the City" on Monday nights, NBC can now lay claim to the most vanilla 90 minutes of primetime this side of TGIF. The age of Musn't-See TV is at hand.
An Article from The Chicago Tribune
"Conrad Bloom": Episode three of this new NBC series...
October 05, 1998|By Steve Johnson, Tribune Television Critic.
"Conrad Bloom": Episode three of this new NBC series reveals the little arrow, which began at dull mediocrity for episode one, diving toward the ground. From dull competence, the chronicle of a New York Yuppie too busy being friends with women to date them moves into an exasperating obviousness, its ostensibly comic gears grinding away like on an underoiled Soviet tractor. Mark Feuerstein stars as Conrad, a New York ad guy who is the too-obviously favorite child of Linda Lavin, to the too-shrill dismay of his too-kooky sister. Barely a line or deed in this family relationship, the focus Monday (7:30 p.m., WMAQ-Ch. 5), rings true, and non sequiturs keep popping up, mostly to introduce cheap sexual references. Casting about for diversion, we find Steve Landesberg as a former ad legend now addled by drugs, who keeps boring us by talking about the pills in his pockets. And Victoria Jackson shows up as a secretary, proving that, no, Kevin Nealon is not always available. The episode's ending, which I won't spoil by telling you Conrad reveals a shaved head, is liable to prompt eye rolling so severe they may stick that way.
An Article from Entertainment Weekly
Oh, That Golden Graham
THE BLOSSOMING COSTAR OF 'CONRAD BLOOM'
By Bruce Fretts
Lauren Graham is tired of people comparing her role on NBC's new sitcom Conrad Bloom -- as the platonic pal/ex-girlfriend of Mark Feuerstein's title character -- to Seinfeld's Elaine. ''That's the only TV couple people can think of who didn't end up together,'' says Graham. ''Except, of course, for Mulder and Scully. So I'd like people to start asking why I'm different from Scully.''
Okay, Ms. Smarty-pants, why are you different from Scully? ''Well, I'm not a doctor,'' she ad-libs. ''And I'm not currently investigating anything.''
We did a little investigating of Graham, 31, and here's what we turned up: The Honolulu-born, Northern Virginia-bred actress moved to L.A. in 1995 after earning an English degree from Barnard and a master's in acting from SMU (we told you she was smart). Thus began a whirlwind three years, which found her doing Must See NBC guest shots on 3rd Rock From the Sun (as a midlife-crisis-inducing crush of John Lithgow's), Caroline in the City (as Malcolm Gets' preternaturally giddy girlfriend), Seinfeld (as the woman who put Jerry at No. 1 on her speed dial), NewsRadio (as the pyromaniacal efficiency expert), and Law & Order (her sexy studio exec seduced cop Benjamin Bratt -- or Mr. Superhottie, as Graham calls him). She also had regular roles on CBS' short-lived ad-agency sitcom, Good Company, and ABC's dud Townies, opposite Molly Ringwald and Jenna Elfman. ''They were nice people,'' she says of her ex-costars, ''but I wasn't sad to see it go.''
Graham can currently be seen on the big screen alongside one of her idols, Meryl Streep, in One True Thing. ''I never said to her, 'Miss Streep, your career has meant so much to me,' but she knows,'' says Graham, who plays Renee Zellweger's best friend. ''You don't want to be working with someone and be a crazed fan at the same time.''
Why has Graham worked so much in such a short period of time? ''Beautiful and funny is very rare,'' says Marco Pennette, exec producer of Conrad and Caroline. ''Lauren walked in and knocked us all out with the way she looked, and I said, 'Okay, she's not going to be able to speak.' And she just nailed every joke.'' Graham has a humbler explanation: ''I'm nice,'' she says. ''And I show up on time.''
For more on Conrad Bloom go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conrad_Bloom
For Lauren Graham Online go to http://lauren-online.net/
To watch a promo go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQwxbgoFWMI and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ki8zg7fuhxU
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Keywords: Conrad Bloom Cast (Links Updated 7/25/18)