October 23, 1989 12:00 PM

CBS (Wed., Oct 18, 9 P.M. ET)

C-

Dirk (The A-Team) Benedict is a Columbo-like gumshoe in this sometimes cute and quirky, but more often cloying murder mystery. There are loads of red herrings. Something is fishy all right. The script. It’s surely ambitious: It tries to be hip, humorous and dramatic, but it tries too hard. The suspects, including Catherine (Dynasty) Oxen berg, Michelle Phillips, Kim (Guiding Light) Zimmer and Bruce Dern, never create sympathetic characters. Only Sydney (Hooper man) Walsh, as Benedict’s fast-talking assistant, ever gets to make much of a splash. At one dangerous juncture, she nervously asks Benedict, “Are we armed?” And he says, “Yes, with my wit and your charm.” She deadpans one of the only truly comical lines: “Can I switch sides?” You may find yourself fighting the temptation to switch channels.

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