Picks and Pans Review: My Wife and Kids

UPDATED 04/02/2001 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 04/02/2001 at 01:00 AM EDT

ABC (Wednesdays, 8 p.m. ET)

This tame, sometimes lame family sitcom set in a leafy Connecticut suburb is exactly the sort of prime-time pablum its star and executive producer Damon Wayans would have spoofed—nay, eviscerated—with brothers Keenen and Marlon on their irreverent '90s series In Living Color. So I kept waiting for Wayans, who plays Michael Kyle, a successful delivery-truck-fleet owner (who's also a doofus husband and dad), to step out of character, cut loose, maybe even moon the camera. No such luck. Despite an occasional riff—such as slipping a thong on his head and refashioning it as a chic eye patch—Wayans mostly settles for being the put-upon reactor to his newly empowered stockbroker wife, Janet (Tisha Campbell-Martin), their sassy, in-your-face teenage son Jr. (George O. Gore II), self-absorbed pubescent daughter Claire (Jazz Raycole) and cute-as-a-Teletubby toddler Kady (Parker McKenna Posey). There are some refreshingly dissonant notes—Michael and Janet are seeing a marriage counselor—and Wayans and the kids have a snappy, playful rapport. Otherwise this is a Cosby Show wannabe without a cause.

Bottom Line: Wayans way off his game

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