Picks and Pans Review: The New Adventures of Beans Baxter

updated 07/20/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/20/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Fox (Sat., July 18, 8 p.m. ET)

B

Cute. Not stuffed-Snoopy cute. Clever cute. In a tribute of sorts to Get Smart, young Jonathan Ward, as Beans Baxter, plays a high schooler whose meek mailman dad is really a courier running dangerous missions for the government—unbeknownst to Beans or his mom, Elinor (Father Knows Best) Donahue. Dad gets kidnapped by a terrorist group called UGLI—whose members include a bikinied, tattooed, well-armed guest star, Wendy O. Williams—and Beans unwittingly finds himself a spy. In an age of real-life Beirut kidnappings, portraying terrorists as comic Keystone Killers is a dubious gag. But the gag ends up working because these terrorists travel in an ice cream truck and an ever-growing gang of angry kids chases them throughout the show, screaming for ice cream. Odd, wry little touches like that are just what make Beans Baxterso...well, cute.

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