Picks and Pans Review: Davis Rules
CBS (Wednesdays, 8 P.M. ET)
CBS tries to jump-start the Jonathan Winters-Randy Quaid sitcom that stalled out as a replacement series last year on ABC. To that end, they've dumped Quaid's girlfriend, recast his young sons and added both an adult sister (Grand's Bonnie Hunt) and a mature-beyond-his-years teen (Vonni Ribisi) living with the family.
The new troops have expanded the comic potential, but the show has turned up the kiddie-cutesy factor, and the characters still don't really play well off one another, revealing a lack of chemistry that starts right at the top. The stark difference in the stare' styles—Winters is a manic portly pixie, Quaid a phlegmatic plodder—traps the slightly ungainly sitcom midway between realistic and ridiculous. As a result, the episodes rarely develop any comic momentum. At least Winters's ad-libs are now showcased better, as when he's on hold on a pay phone and hails an unseen passerby, Spiro? Spiro, is that you? I thought you got killed in prison."
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