March 23, 1998 12:00 PM

ABC (Tuesdays, 9:30 p.m. ET)


Don’t write off this sitcom too soon—we almost did. Originally titled These Are the Days—in apparent homage to All in the Family and its opening song, “Those Were the Days”—the show concerns a fractious family in Archie Bunker’s New York City borough of Queens. The comedy centers on the conflict between working-class bigmouth Mike (comedian Gerry Red Wilson) and his snooty, outspoken sister-in-law Catherine (Nadia Dajani of Ned and Stacey). Catherine and son Kieran (Michael Charles Roman) recently moved into Mike’s hitherto happy home after her marriage broke up. (Gee, let’s put Archie and Maude under the same roof.) As we watched the March 10 pilot and the March 24 episode, our ears couldn’t help noticing how Wilson puts his stand-up experience to use by shouting his lines as if he were working a noisy nightclub. Enough already, we thought. But then we viewed a future episode in which Catholic Mike takes Kieran to Easter mass over Catherine’s objections and is soon exposed as a religious hypocrite with a limited grasp of Church doctrine. The script is funny—challenging, even. Now if wife Patty (Kellie Overbey) can just get Mike to pipe down.

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