Picks and Pans Review: Mr. President

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

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

Fox (Sundays, 9 p.m. ET)

C-

These days we seem to know less and less about what really happens in the White House—and the less we know, the more we fear. In Mr. President we see our worst fears realized: a President who is out of touch, who gets his advice from a tiny inner circle of two, who bumbles, who is too busy with family troubles to trouble himself with affairs of state. But don't worry, America, it's only a sitcom. As a sitcom, though, the picture is still unpleasant—because it's unfunny. George C. Scott plays a parody of himself, using his high office as an excuse for bellowing and blustering. After getting an FBI tip that his son-in-law is playing around, Scott makes the man cower and promise to be good. "Whatever you say, Mr. President," the son-in-law whimpers. "You're damned right," George growls. The show just doesn't feel like it's in the White House—and even the writers seem to know that; they're forever reminding us who Scott is. "I'm talking to you now as an old friend, not as your President," Scott says to his adviser Conrad (Diff'rent Strokes) Bain. "I'm not talking to you as your wife now but as an American citizen," says Carlin Glynn as the First Lady. And I'm talking to you as a couch potato.

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