Picks and Pans Review: E/r

UPDATED 09/17/1984 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 09/17/1984 at 01:00 AM EDT

CBS (Tuesdays, 8:30 p.m. ET)
Premiere: Sunday, Sept. 16, 8 p.m. ET

How appropriate that, beginning Sept. 25, E/R will follow AfterMASH on the fall schedule. Hypochondriacs should be forced to watch the two together. Then they'll never want to go near a hospital; they'll learn that you can die there of boredom. The cast is first-rate, including Elliott (M *A *S *H) Gould as the maverick doc and Conchata (Heartland) Ferrell as his can-do emergency room nurse. The writing, alas, is dreadful and the directing is as well-timed as a Polish joke in the Vatican. "Are you pregnant?" a doctor asks a patient. "No," says her mother, "she's just fat." A real yuk-an-hour, this one. The debut starts off as an episode of The Jeffersons, but E/R is not a spin-off; Sherman (George Jefferson) Hemsley plays a nurse's family friend just so he can walk on. By the end he walks off. He's the smart one.

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