Picks and Pans Review: Head of the Class

UPDATED 09/22/1986 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 09/22/1986 at 01:00 AM EDT

ABC (Wed., Sept. 17, 8:30 p.m. ET)

Not to damn the show with faint praise in this otherwise sorry season, but here's the best the big three nets have to offer this fall. Head of the Class will look familiar—another classroom comedy, another Welcome Back, Kotter. But there's a difference: These kids aren't just smart-assed. They're smart. Geniuses, in fact. One girl's grounded because "I did something terrible." Car theft? Bank robbery? Shoplifting? She shakes her head. "I got a B." Clearly, they're too smart for their own good, spending all their time learning and none living. So their streetwise substitute teacher, Howard (WKRP) Hesseman, instructs them in the fine art of fun. And he does a great job of it. Head of the Class isn't filled with jokes worth hyperventilating over. Instead, it's filled with wit in the writing and charm from a great bunch of characters. Yes, this is another high school show, another ensemble sitcom—but it's a damned good one. And I'm delighted at last just to see a few smart people on television. They all earn a solid: A

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