Picks and Pans Review: Broken Badges

updated 11/26/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/26/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

CBS (Sat, Nov. 24, 8 P.M. ET)

B

Miguel Ferrer stars in a silly but spicy new action series as the head of a lunatic police unit.

Ferrer has a recurring role on Twin Peaks as that knot of nasty contradictions Alfred the FBI pathologist. As Beau Jack Bowman on Broken Badges, he gets another flashy duck to play. He's a renegade New Orleans cop with Chickasaw blood, a chunky Cajun accent, a bad case of claustrophobia and a rat's-tail hairdo. He refers to hardened criminals as "debutantes" and says "cher" more times in an hour than Sonny Bono has in his whole career. Ferrer is more than up to the challenge, turning in the boldest, funkiest series performance this year.

This wild card recruits his cohorts from a file of officers who have been taken off active duty for serious emotional or psychological problems—what he calls "the Napoleon hat squad." There's Eileen (The Young and the Restless) Davidson, a one-woman motorcycle gang with a reckless disregard for safety, Ernie (Ghostbusters) Hudson, a depressive kleptomaniac with a split personality, and Jay (Soap) Johnson, a dummy-toting ventriloquist with violent interludes. Charlotte Lewis is their department liaison, replacing Terry Donahoe from the pilot.

Often ridiculously plotted and outrageously implausible, the show does have an exciting star surrounded by colorful, eccentric characters—and that sets it apart from the pack. It looks like a hard concept to sustain, so check it out (after this week, Saturdays at 9) before it gets stale.

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