Picks and Pans Review: Starting Now

updated 09/04/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/04/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

CBS (Mon., Sept. 4, 8:30 P. M. ET)

C-

What a spiffy idea: Give Ricki Lake, Divine's daughter in Hairspray, her own sitcom. Too bad it had to be this one. In it she plays a character named Ricki Ross, an aspiring New York actress who works as a gofer on a children's TV show that features a talking bunny rabbit. Lake ought to gofer the writers, who have turned her into a precious simp. Ricki keeps getting in trouble because she always tells the truth. There's nothing wrong with being honest, of course, but let's hear it for women with an edge, like sassy Roseanne and caustic Candice!

Just why Lake's character has such disparate roommates—a coldhearted female stockbroker (Jodi Thelen) and a handsome Italian cop (Tom Silardi)—isn't clear, as there's little friction among them. Her co-workers are a little more interesting, but predictable. The star of the children's TV show, a sweet-talking fairy princess named Felicia (Cecilia Hart), is, of course, a tough-talking cookie off-camera. Although the show doesn't break any new ground, it is the season's first sitcom to feature a Dan Quayle joke. Too bad it's not a funny one.

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