Picks and Pans Review: Julie Brown: the Show

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

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

CBS (Mon., Sept. 4, 10:30 P.M. ET)

A—

This hyper, madcap half hour could only star the manic Julie Brown, who is reminiscent of a power lawn mower run amok. Her cutting humor has recently been displayed in the film Earth Girls Are Easy, which she co-wrote and co-stars in, and on MTV, where she has a weekly video cum comedy show called Just Say Julie. Maybe you know her cult song, "The Homecoming Queen's Got a Gun", or her album, Trapped in the Body of a White Girl.

The premiere episode of Brown's new sitcom has her hosting a TV talk show. As Brown is about to go on the air, her Euro-trash boyfriend (John Viscardi) dumps her, setting off a hysterically funny, calamitous chain of events that involve Elizabeth Taylor (who isn't on the show), Susan Anton (who is) and Michael Jackson's chimpanzee, Bubbles, whom Brown kidnaps and holds for ransom—and don't ask why. Says Brown to herself: "I want to be married, have a baby and live a fabulous Hollywood life. If Melanie Griffith can have it all, why can't I?"

Supporting characters include Adam Arkin as Brown's nerdy director, who is also in love with her; Marcia Strassman as a duplicitous network exec; and Larry Poindexter as Brown's overly ambitious co-host. Director Peter Bonerz keeps the action going with the dexterity of a plate twirler at the circus. Let's hear it for Brown—who co-wrote the show—and company. Unlike earth girls, good sitcoms aren't easy.

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