Picks and Pans Review: Something Wilder

updated 10/10/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/10/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

NBC (Saturdays, 8 p.m. ET)

B+

Gene Wilder (Young Frankenstein) makes his TV series debut as a man who becomes a first-time father to twins in the autumn of his life. With its rustic New England setting and extended supporting cast of Yankee eccentrics, this is an obvious attempt to re-create the atmosphere of Newhart. But it also trades in three things we never saw at the old Stratford Inn: slapstick, kids and salacious punch lines.

Wilder is a cuddly delight. But the real standout of this series is Hillary B. Smith (One Life to Live), in a superb performance as Wilder's wife that recalls Home Improvement's Patricia Richardson—only Smith is more endearing and emotional.

There's nothing wild about Something Wilder, but there is a lot to like about this sweet, innocuous sitcom.

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