Picks and Pans Review: Gary Larson's Tales from the Far Side

updated 10/31/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 10/31/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

CBS (Wed., Oct. 26, 8:30 p.m. ET)

B +

It has taken 15 years, but cartoonist Gary Larson has finally brought his Far Side strip to the small screen, just as he has announced his retirement from the daily printed page. Don't, of course, expect a heartwarming, cute and cuddly Peanuts or Garfield-type special. Tales from the Far Side stays 100 percent sentiment free, like Larson's daily panel. This hilarious half hour of strange, vaguely connected vignettes features everything from an airplane for insects, complete with a worm-serving flight attendant, to the Dead Ranch, where zombies go for a bumpy hayride that knocks their limbs off.

In addition to keeping the dark humor of The Far Side intact, Larson manages to keep his bizarre creatures silent. Rather than give them voices, the show uses music and lots of sound effects. Whenever comic characters make the leap into holiday TV specials, their creators tend to go overboard trying to come up with a warm and fuzzy moral. Not Larson. He knows what makes his strip different, and he doesn't compromise for a second. The only thing warm and fuzzy in Tales from the Far Side is what some of the bugs eat on the plane.

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