Picks and Pans Review: Heartland

updated 04/03/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/03/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

CBS (Mondays, 8:30 P.M. ET)

B+

But the good news is that Monday night on CBS remains uneven. So after a bad show comes a good one, Heartland, another gem from Witt-Thomas (the production company that gives us The Golden Girls, Empty Nest and Beauty and the Beast). Kathleen Layman and Richard Gilliland play Nebraska farmers who live with one boy who sings to his pig, one boy who dreams of moving to L.A., one girl, and one irascible in-law, played by Brian Keith. What's good about the show is simply that it has attitude: Keith and his son-in-law can't stand each other; Keith tells his family that 82 percent of Californians are on cocaine, 15 percent are gay activists and the remaining 3 percent are Eddie Murphy's bodyguards. What's not so good is that this show—like others from this company—is a bit too quick to rely on cheap, scatological jokes (about outhouses, for instance). Still, Heartland bears watching—if you can avoid Monday's first half hour of CBS prime time (with Live-In), watch this half hour, watch the next one (Murphy Brown), avoid the next (Designing Women), watch the next (Newhart) and avoid the last (Kate & Allie). A smart lawyer could sue this network for aesthetic whiplash.

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