Picks and Pans Review: The Five Mrs. Buchanans

updated 10/17/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/17/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

CBS (Saturdays, 9 p.m. ET)


This sitcom focuses on four disparate sisters-in-law. There's Alex (Judith Ivey), an earthy Jewish woman from New York City; Delilah (Beth Broderick), a pneumatic, trashy Texas blonde; Bree (Charlotte Ross), a California airhead; and Vivian (Harriet Sansom Harris), a snooty Hoosier.

Besides their marriages to the various Buchanan boys, only one thing brings them together: hatred of their mother-in-law (Eileen Heckart) and her put-downs. Visiting Ivey, Heckart asks to use the bathroom and then emerges immediately, saying, "I'll just wait till I get to a Texaco."

It's Harris, her look and demeanor clearly based on Marilyn Quayle, who gets the meatiest role, and she makes a meal of it. Disconcertingly, Ross's husband is played by Paul Johansson in the pilot and by Tommy Hinkley in subsequent episodes.

The humor falls on the obvious side, but the show's pacing is snappy and the characters are sharply delineated. With its sarcastic sororal sniping, this sitcom is most reminiscent of Designing Women.

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