Alf: Season Two

The lovable '80s icon steals every scene he's in, making for an enjoyable sophomore season of this marketing ploy of a sitcom. Alf continues to make a pest of himself as the rebellious intergalactic house guest of the Tanner family. Whether entering the self-conscious Lynn in a beauty contest, liberating the family's newfound stray dog out of jealousy, or digging up the backyard to create a lagoon like the one on Gilligan's Island, Alf's antics are the basis of every episode. Though the incidents are marginally funny (Alf blowing up the kitchen is actually hilarious), the show's comedic heart lies with the furry alien himself. Any time Alf is onscreen, be it the show itself or the DVD's self-reflexive interactive menus, he is genuinely funny. It's a good thing too because other than the caustic Willy (played memorably by Max Wright) and the intrusive Ochmonek neighbours, the characters are limp. The writing invariably has each Alf shenanigan resolve itself with some vague moral play that seems forced and counterintuitive to the fact that the network has a comedy hit starring a sarcastic, plush toy. The marketing package is completed here with two forgettable Saturday morning Alf cartoons that don't really hold up. Still, it's a treat to see the former Gordon Shumway cracking wise again. "Ha!," indeed. (Maple)