Picks and Pans Review: Veronica's Closet

updated 09/29/1997 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/29/1997 01:00AM

NBC (Thursdays, 9:30 p.m. ET)

B

This slick new sitcom follows Seinfeld in NBC's vaunted "must-see" lineup, stars Emmy-winner Kirstie Alley (Cheers), comes from the creators of Friends (Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman and David Crane) and promises to rely heavily on what the standards-and-practices folks call sexual innuendo. In short, it can't miss. Alley's character owns and gives her name to Veronica's Closet, a company that markets alluring lingerie and satisfy-your-man books. When she talks business with her employees (Kathy Najimy, Wallace Langham, Dan Cortese and Daryl Mitchell), sex quite naturally comes up. And office conversation is further spiced by the running debate over whether Langham's character is gay (his denials are limp). On the domestic side, Alley's marriage founders in the Sept. 25 premiere because her husband (super-smarmy Christopher McDonald) is a compulsive adulterer. The opener mostly succeeds in maintaining a tone that's more racy-adult than naughty-juvenile. The only element that doesn't mesh is the character of Alley's father (Robert Prosky), who serves as her chauffeur so she'll have someone to talk to while stuck in Manhattan traffic. Prosky would be an asset to any cast, but his role looks like a fifth wheel.

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