Picks and Pans Review: The Hat Squad

updated 09/21/1992 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/21/1992 01:00AM

CBS (Wednesdays, 8 P.M. ET)

B+

They're an elite crime-fighting unit, taking on the baddest of the bad. All three (Don Michael Paul, Nestor Serrano and Billy Warlock) are the orphaned foster sons of a police captain (James Tolkan). Their trademark: snap-brim fedoras.

This is a creation of Stephen J. Cannell (A-Team, Riptide), which means heroes with implicit codes of honor trading lots of male-bonding banter and pseudohip street slang. It also means wonderfully sinister guest-star villains—in this week's premiere it's Sam J. Jones (The Highwayman) as a one-man crime wave.

Not one of the good guys is even remotely plausible as a cop, but that doesn't matter. Cannell essentially creates live-action cartoons. This time he's turned the violence and action quotas way up to fabricate a trashy fast-food show that could be highly addictive.

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