Picks and Pans Review: The Simpsons

updated 02/12/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/12/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

Fox (Sundays, 8:30 P.M. ET)

B+

Fox is getting healthy busting through TV's archaic sense of propriety. Its unholy Sunday night lineup of Married...with Children, Open House and Tracey Ullman is raunchier and wilder than anything you'll see all week long on the other channels. This addition, a mordant animated series from cartoonist Matt Groening, is the most subversive beast in the Fox den, and, at least initially, the wittiest.

As far as animation goes, Groening's style clearly owes more to underground cartoonist R. Crumb than it does to Hanna-Barbera. In the Simpsons' grotesque family unit, Cro-Magnon Dad works at a nuclear power plant. Mom has a blue bride-of-Frankenstein hairdo. Their three offspring are exactly the sort of low-slung predators people who hate children dread most. Watching the antics of these inveterate losers is seriously skewed and seriously funny.

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