Picks and Pans Review: House Rules

updated 03/09/1998 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/09/1998 AT 01:00 AM EST

NBC (Mondays, 8:30 p.m. ET)


Skip the off-putting March 9 premiere of this Friends-in-Denver sitcom. The second episode makes a much better impression.

Here's all you need to know from the pilot: Chums since childhood, a woman and two men in their 20s share a house (on a set strewn with fake snow). Maria Pitillo (Partners) plays an assistant district attorney. David Newsom (Homefront) plays a medical student. Bradley White (Mad About You) plays a professional dreamer. In the opener, Newsom and White try to sabotage Pitillo's relationship with her vain boyfriend (Jeff Yagher) by telling him she is "off the pill" and "ovulating...like a henhouse." How's that for obnoxious? Then, with Pitillo poised to move to Paris with her "significant other," Newsom and White each offer to marry her. How's that for manipulative? But hold on. In the March 16 outing, everybody's still single, Pitillo falls for a new guy (Patrick Warburton from Seinfeld), her roomies disapprove again—and this time there are laughs, thanks to a brighter script and Warburton's fine work as a handsome cop with a personality blend of John Wayne and G. Gordon Liddy. A "D" and a "B" average out to a...

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