Picks and Pans Review: Some of My Best Friends

updated 02/26/2001 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/26/2001 AT 01:00 AM EST

CBS (Wednesdays, 8 p.m. ET)

This new sitcom is a revised and somewhat sanitized version of the 1997 movie Kiss Me, Guido, but it has the same improbable premise: Frankie (Danny Nucci), a strapping Italian-American heterosexual from the New York City borough of The Bronx, seeks an apartment in Manhattan. He spots a "roommate wanted" ad placed by a Greenwich Village "GWM" and thinks the letters stand for "Guy With Money" rather than "Gay White Male." The GWM, a writer named Warren (Jason Bateman), so needs someone to share the rent that he can't afford to dismiss wannabe actor Frankie as a GWB (Guy Without Brain).

Don't buy the setup? There's more bad news. Warren's friend Vern (Alec Mapa) is stereotypically flamboyant, and Frankie's buddy Pino (Michael DeLuise) is aggressively stupid. Then again, Bateman gives his character as much intelligence as a show like this will allow. A few funny lines in the Feb. 28 pilot offer reason to hope, but discouragement set in as I watched a future episode in which Frankie fears that Warren has stolen his undershorts as a "sick souvenir."

Bottom Line: Short-term lease

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