Picks and Pans Review: Tattingers
updated 10/31/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 10/31/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST
What a disappointment. Here is a show from some of the people behind the beatified St. Elsewhere. Here is a killer cast: Stephen Collins, Blythe Danner, Jerry Stiller and, in later shows, Mary Beth Hurt. But here is a series about rich New Yorkers who go out to eat—nothing more. It's Woody Allen Lite. It's thirty-millionsomething. In the premiere, Collins the restaurateur gets beat up by bad guys and humiliates his ex-wife, Danner, when he comes to his daughter's debutante ball in a tattered tux. Can't you just feel the sympathy oozing out of your pores? All the characters on Tattingers are either wealthy or they are cliches drawn in crayon: the temperamental chef, the crazy cabbie, the evil real estate developer and his killer henchman. Jack Gilford portrays an old newsstand operator, a concentration camp survivor who plays the lottery using the number tattooed on his arm. That is distasteful. (And this is the same network that just brought us a Saturday Night Live skit called "Jew or Not a Jew." I'm loath to suggest that anyone use censors, but perhaps NBC should learn restraint.) Tattingers is the worst of St. Elsewhere: overdone, obvious and a little oily, like a $10 salad at one of those overpriced New York restaurants.