Picks and Pans Review: Bakersfield, P.d.

updated 10/04/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/04/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Fox (Tuesdays, 8:30 p.m. ET)


He's back. Larry Levin, who created last spring's short-lived but memorably loopy ABC replacement series Arresting Behavior, has come up with another riotous station-house farce.

For reasons far to silly to enumerate, a half-black, half-Italian cop (Spike Lee repertory company player Giancarlo Esposito) moves as far as he can get from Washington, D.C.—all the way to Bakersfield, Calif., where he joins the all-white police force. It's CHiPs meets Troop. At roll call the sergeant (Brian Doyle-Murray) reads off such absurd items as: "Superstar entertainer Mr. Glen Campbell is gonna be at the Kern County Fair Friday night. We need somebody to pick him up at the bus station. Anybody?" One brain-drained ranger (Chris Mulkey) complains, "Sarge, when we going back to working nights? If I wanted to work 9 to 5, I would have finished high school."

Esposito's partner (Ron Eldard) is stuck in some time warp of '70s soul music and bad TV. His idea of stimulating conversation: "Now McMillan and Wife ran, I believe, until 1977, but it was over the year before as far as I'm concerned when Susan Saint James, John Schuck and Nancy Walker all left." (Both Mulkey and Eldard were featured in Arresting Behavior.)

As in most comedy this broad, the writing takes a blunderbuss approach, missing as often as it hits. But the show remains an absolutely daft treat.

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