Picks and Pans Review: Bless This House

updated 09/18/1995 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/18/1995 01:00AM

CBS (Wednesdays, 8 p.m. ET)

C+

Oh, the mood swings. In a dingy New York City apartment, a working-class couple battle, bicker and make up with equal ardor. He's a bumptious beanbag who wears a blue uniform to his union job. Just in case you're missing the TV legacy here, the producers have even named the wife Alice. Got it now?

Still, The Honeymooners it ain't. Alice is played by Cathy Moriarty (Raging Bull). And her Ralph Kramden (here a postal worker named Burt Clayton) is Andrew Clay, the infamously foulmouthed comic who has dropped his middle moniker, Dice, and cleaned up his act for TV.

Well, sorta. In the opener, Clay happily slurps up water from a bidet, confusing it for a fountain. Aside from its abrasive edge and a subtext of class bias, this sitcom has far more sexual candor than it really needs.

On the plus side, the punch lines are occasionally inventive, and the cast includes a prime-time rarity: an engaging adolescent (Raegan Kotz as the sassy daughter). And Clay and Moriarty sound great as they energetically deliver their lines. In fact, Bless This House is the first TV show I've ever seen that would work better on radio.

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