Picks and Pans Review: The Simpsons & American Dad

updated 02/14/2005 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/14/2005 01:00AM

FOX (Sun., Feb. 6; following the Super Bowl)

Simpsons:

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Dad:

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After the Super Bowl, FOX offers an hour of cartoon comedy that features an accomplished veteran and a raw rookie.

The Simpsons, a winner for over 15 years, starts the postgame action at approximately 10 p.m. ET with a hilarious episode that scores satirical points left and right. Suddenly famous for doing a dorky victory dance at a carnival, Homer is hired to choreograph self-congratulatory demonstrations for football stars Warren Sapp and Tom Brady, basketball's Yao Ming and LeBron James, and skater Michelle Kwan (all guest voices). But when the NFL hires him to put his creative stamp on the Super Bowl halftime show, Homer makes the mistake of collaborating with fundamentalist neighbor Ned Flanders, and the result is grandiosity of biblical proportions.

Next up—and suffering by comparison—is what FOX calls a "sneak preview" of American Dad, the strained new show from Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. Dad doesn't go weekly till May 1—a lucky thing because this baby needs work. Stan, a gung ho CIA agent, heads a wacky household including a wife, two children, a space alien with a sweet tooth and a randy goldfish with a German accent. The pilot aspires to outrageousness, but the humor needs to get a whole lot smarter.

COMEDY

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