Picks and Pans Review: These Friends of Mine

UPDATED 04/04/1994 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 04/04/1994 at 01:00 AM EDT

ARC (Wednesdays, 9:30 p.m. ET)

A-

Every time you start fretting that the network system is bankrupt, up pops an irresistible treat like this japery, which combines the bent appeal of Seinfeld, Mad About You and the best parts of Anything but Love. Like those shows, it's built around the silly antics of a tight-knit group of adults who bond to each other in a very adolescent way. We're living, my friends, in the golden sitcom age of rec-room humor.

These Friends has something those series don't: stand-up comic Ellen DeGeneres as the star. With her pop-eyed innocence, her self-aware goodness, she's a sitcom natural. She has an endearing way of putting her foot in her mouth and then wedging it in deeper and deeper as she babbles on embarrassedly.

DeGeneres's loopy clique is made up of Arye Gross, Holly Fulger and Maggie Wheeler. Join them.

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