Picks and Pans Review: Baby Blues

updated 07/31/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/31/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

The WB (Fridays, 8 p.m. ET)

Show of the week

The theme song by Barenaked Ladies is "It's All Been Done"—appropriate for a series that's hardly a trailblazer in animated family comedy. But Baby Blues, based on the syndicated comic strip, puts a few surprisingly funny twists on ordinary domestic complaints and situations. Think of the show (premiering July 28 with two half-hour episodes) as a Family Guy that's not quite so rude.

Mike O'Malley, who bombed last year in an NBC sitcom (and has another on tap for CBS this fall), is more amusing here as the voice of Darryl, a white-collar guy with a baby daughter and a prominently oblong nose. Barely coping with new parenthood, Darryl and wife Wanda (Julia Sweeney) don't know exactly what to make of the disorderly brood next door: Carl (Joel Murray), a hairy-armed conspiracy buff; his wife, Melinda (Arabella Field); their 8-year-old son Rodney (Kath Soucie, heard on Rugrats), an alarmingly confident troublemaker; and two smaller offspring. Sometimes Baby Blues goes too wild (e.g., Carl gets trapped in a missile silo), but when Wanda bristles at being called a future "soccer mom," you know this cartoon is in touch with reality.

Bottom Line: Baby could develop

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