Picks and Pans Review: Sledge Hammer

updated 09/22/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/22/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

ABC (Tues., Sept. 23, 8:30 p.m. ET)


If M*A*S*H could make war funny and Hogan's Heroes could almost make Nazis funny, then you'd think Sledge Hammer would have it easy making fun of The A-Team, The Equalizer, Hunter, Spenser: For Hire, Riptide and the rest of TV's National Rifle Association. But no. David Rasche plays a cop who talks to his gun, who uses his apartment as a firing range, who has an "I LOVE VIOLENCE" bumper sticker, who fires warning shots at jaywalkers, whose favorite charity is Toy Guns for Tots. To avoid charges of police brutality, Rasche has a purse snatcher beat himself silly ("Punch yourself in the mouth. Now slug yourself in the stomach"). All worth a chortle, I grant. Problem is: I've just ruined every good joke in the show. The plot in the premiere, about the kidnapping of the mayor's daughter, is so aggressively silly that it's hard to stay tuned between gags. As a parody, Sledge Hammer poops out.

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