Picks and Pans Review: Complete Savages
ABC (Fridays, 8:30 p.m. ET)
When 15-year-old Chris Savage (Erik von Detten) wants to torment one of his younger brothers, he shouts, "You're going in the pit!" and puts him in a headlock. The victim then finds out firsthand how well Chris's deodorant is working.
Before you dismiss this as a juvenile stunt, know that Chris's father, fireman Nick (Keith Carradine), deals out the same pit punishment later in the Sept. 24 premiere. It's a guy thing, like the whole show. The opener—directed none too subtly by Mel Gibson, one of the executive producers and a father of seven—establishes that Nick and his five sons have been on their own since his wife left 10 years ago. The Savage boys don't pine for Mom, though. When they get too rowdy, Dad threatens to "get your mother back here," and they pipe down pronto.
The opener offers a few laughs, as Dad refuses to hire a new housekeeper and the boys become bigger slobs than usual. But it won't be long before this show desperately needs a civilizing female presence. Maybe ABC can lure Brady Bunch maid Alice out of retirement.