Picks and Pans Review: Grapevine

updated 03/06/2000 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/06/2000 AT 01:00 AM EST

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

You can't tell the sitcom players without a scorecard. Steven Eck-holdt started the season on the since-axed It's like, you know.... Now he's on this series about sexually active Miami singles, a reworking of the short-lived 1992 Grapevine that featured Eckholdt as the sportscaster sibling of the restaurateur he's playing here. Another regular on the new version is David Sutcliffe, late of the canceled Cold Feet. In the third episode (March 13), Sutcliffe says, "You're kidding! He got cold feet?" This is, like, an inside joke?

Grapevine (airing at 9:30 on Feb. 28 and 8:30 thereafter) has some assets: a single-camera, no-laugh-track style; location filming that makes this the Miami Vice of comedies; and an attractive cast that also includes Kristy Swanson (of the big-screen Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as Eckholdt's best friend and true love and George Eads as his womanizing brother (still a local TV sports guy). But the characters—even the minor ones—comment to the camera constantly. You'll want to scream, "Talk to one another, for cryin' out loud!"

Bottom Line: Too gimmicky for words

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