Picks and Pans Review: Rude Awakening

UPDATED 08/03/1998 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 08/03/1998 at 01:00 AM EDT

Showtime (Saturdays, 10:30 p.m. ET)

In keeping with Showtime's "No Limits" slogan, the characters in this new series say raunchy things you probably won't hear anywhere on television except pay cable. (We'd give you an example—if we didn't have limits.) But ruder isn't necessarily smarter. Adult content aside, almost everything about the two episodes we've seen says "standard-issue sitcom." Ordinarily we'd consider the absence of a laugh track refreshing, but this show seems incomplete without one.

Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks) plays an alcoholic given to casual sex and blackouts. Big gag in the Aug. I premiere (delayed until 11 p.m.): She wakes up with a strange guy, lifts the sheet, rebukes her wanton genitalia and hastily excuses herself to go vomit. For comic contrast, Fenn's sister-in-law (Corinne Bohrer) is a stereotyped born-again Christian who calls her "the devil" in the second episode. Lynn Redgrave brings some style to the role of Fenn's mother, a sophisticate with an unacknowledged drinking problem of her own. There may be sobriety and a good man (Jonathan Penner) in Fenn's future, but we're not thirsting for more.

Bottom Line: Rude is the word

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