Picks and Pans Review: Over the Top

updated 10/27/1997 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 10/27/1997 01:00AM

ABC (Tuesdays, 8:30 p.m. ET)

B-

Not since Tim Curry camped it up as the cross-dressing Dr. Frank N. Furter in 1975's cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show has the zanier side of the British actor—and veteran screen heavy—been fully exploited. He finally gets to cut loose in this goofy new sitcom (premiere: Oct. 21). Curry is cast, in almost gleeful self-parody, as Simon Ferguson, an insufferably preening soap opera star whose character has just been killed off. Broke and out of work, he brazenly ensconces himself in the penthouse of a Manhattan hotel owned by Hadley Martin (Annie Potts), a thrice-wed single mother of two—and Simon's ex-wife of 20 years ago. Basically, he's hoping to sponge off her. Oddly (since they were only married 12 days), she lets him stick around. Potts and Curry seem awkward together. The best exchanges, in fact, are between Simon and Hadley's smart-aleck 7-year-old son, Daniel (Luke Tarsitano), which allow Curry to luxuriate in his trademark sly malice. Daniel: "Want to see my rock collection?" Simon: "Only if I can hit myself with them until I lose consciousness." There's potential here—if the writers resist the temptation to make Simon more lovable. Uncurdled Curry would be a hard act to swallow.

Terry Kelleher is on vacation

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