Picks and Pans Review: Dellaventura

UPDATED 10/20/1997 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 10/20/1997 at 01:00 AM EDT

CBS (Tuesdays, 10 p.m. ET)


When I make up my mind to do something, I never fail," declared private eye Anthony Dellaventura (Danny Aiello) in last month's premiere of this drama series. Funny thing: Watching Dellaventura swagger down the sidewalks of New York City, we can't help rooting for him to fail. A humbling reversal would be good for this cocksure combination of the Equalizer, Kojak and Frank Sinatra's Tony Rome. Although the Oct. 7 episode was more tolerable than the two that preceded it (if only because Aiello made it through the hour without invoking the Dellaventura Philosophy, which includes such profound tenets as Expect the unexpected), our hero remains inordinately proud of his hackneyed street wisdom and obnoxiously aggressive attitude ("I'm gonna drive your ribs right into your lungs...I'm gonna reattach his right arm to his left leg"). And don't expect his sidekicks (played by Anne Ramsay, Byron Keith Minns and Aiello's son Ricky) to contradict him.

Aiello has won many admirers with a string of fine performances, horn. Do the Right Thing to The Last Don, but this vanity production (executive producer: Danny Aiello; producer: Danny Aiello III) sends the unfortunate message that the star is his own biggest fan. If the surname has to be five euphonious syllables, they might as well call his character Anthony Braggadocio.

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