Picks and Pans Review: The War Next Door

updated 07/24/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/24/2000 01:00AM

USA (Sundays, 9 p.m ET)

Show of the week

High temperatures make for lower TV expectations. Just give us something new and a little different.

This half-hour comedy series (premiering July 23) clearly derives inspiration from MAD magazine's "Spy vs. Spy" feature, but it's original enough to be a summer bright spot. Ex-CIA agent Kennedy Smith (Linden Ashby) tries to lead a quiet life as a suburban family man and salesman for the House of Dreams auto dealership. Then his old nemesis, the dastardly Kreigman (Damian Young), moves in next door for the express purpose of continuing their "eternal dance of death." Young is weirdly funny as the self-described "evil supergenius" who'll do anything—take a car on a dangerous test drive, use his "supervixen" wife (Tara Rosling) as sexual bait—to provoke Smith into battle. It seems doubtful that Kreigman can maintain the vital element of surprise for very long, but keep an eye on him for at least a couple of episodes.

Bottom Line: Spy on these guys

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