Picks and Pans Review: The Adventures of Brisc0 County, Jr.

updated 08/30/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/30/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Fox (Fridays, 8 p.m. ET)

B+

This burlesque Western is like the old Robert Conrad-Ross Martin series, The Wild, Wild West, gone Looney Tunes. In fact, in this two-hour pilot, outlaws cause a train wreck by dropping a boulder on the tracks and painting it with scenery—a ruse that, if memory serves, was a favorite of Wile E. Coyote's.

Our smirky hero (played by Bruce Campbell) is a maverick bounty hunter with a Harvard law degree. Each week, with the help of his wonder horse, Comet (who does everything but give stock tips), Brisco faces death with a glint in his eye and a smart remark on his lips. His archnemesis is a flamboyant villain named John Bly (Billy Drago), who's like Hannibal Lecter as played by Peter O'Toole.

The show has a refreshing sense of humor and whimsy. For instance, when a Calamity Jane type (played by Anne Trimko) accidentally slugs him, Brisco says, "Where did you learn to throw a punch like that?" "Catholic school," she responds. "That was going to be my first guess," he says, gingerly touching his nose.

While the series is distinctive and diverting, most of the supporting roles are weakly cast, particularly Christian Clemenson as a starchy lawyer, John Astin as a screw-loose inventor and Julius Carry as Brisco's bitter business rival. Campbell (Army of Darkness) gives a game, often enjoyable effort, but he can't push this goofy, spoofy conceit around by himself.

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