Picks and Pans Review: Wiseguy

updated 09/21/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/21/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

CBS (Wed., Sept. 16, 9 p.m. ET)


There's tough talk: "They're gonna start putting cigarettes out on your feet.... Ya mess up, ya get dropped in a hole near da turnpike.... I'm gonna spill his teeth." There's lots of shooting—not just from little rifles but from big rocket launchers. And when the gorgeous mob moll takes a gun out from between her legs, there is the perfect marriage of sex and violence. This is Wiseguy, another of the season's many Male Hormone Specials. Ken (Jinxed) Wahl is an undercover agent on a mission so secret that even his dying mother doesn't know he's a good guy. Only his bosses, his brother the priest and a crime-fighting nerd know Wahl's real job: infiltrating a New Jersey gang. Wiseguy comes from the arsenal of Stephen J. Cannell. But unlike Cannell's A-Team, this one is slickly produced, well plotted and even well acted. This one doesn't try to look like a cartoon. It tries to look serious and sinister—and it succeeds. That's precisely why Wiseguy is not a lot of fun to watch. If I want to know all about bad guys gunning down bad guys, I'll read about it in the paper.

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