Review: ‘Bless This House’

The wisecracks, the inferences and the style throughout the sitcom lean to the crude -- but crude, of course, tends to be in fashion.

The wisecracks, the inferences and the style throughout the sitcom lean to the crude — but crude, of course, tends to be in fashion.

Director Barnet Kellman bounces laugh lines along at a brisk clip, and if remarks aren’t laughable, they’re lobbed over in a way to make them sound racy.

Creator Bruce Helford’s writing is often ham-handed, and there’s no discernible taste line to worry about crossing. Lots of it is real burleycue humor: vulgar, raw, brash humor that kept grind houses open for years. How much is welcome in living rooms is another subject.

Clay’s acting is awkward and forced, but Moriarty’s a treasure, no matter what she has to say. Guest star Patricia Healy comes on like a bombshell despite an inane exchange between her character and Burt in the post office (Helford hands Burt a couple of not-so-funny remarks about postal shootings).

Neighbors Phyllis and Lenny (Molly Price, Don Stark) look potentially rich for character mining, but Mimi Kennedy is wasted as a real estate agent.

Show will air Wednesdays at 8 p.m. beginning Wednesday. Though “Bless” looks to be trying to carbon “The Honeymooners,” its closest relative would seem to be “Married With … Children.” The Kramdens and the Nortons wouldn’t know from raunch.

Bless This House

(Mon. (11), 8:30-9 p.m., CBS)


Taped in L.A. by Mohawk Prods. and Warner Bros. TV. Executive producer-creator-writer, Bruce Helford; co-executive producers, Barbara Gale, Michael Rotenberg; producer, Frank Pace; director, Barnet Kellman; camera, Ken Lamkin; editor, Larry Harris; art director , Bill Brezski. #Cast: Andrew Clay, Cathy Moriarty, Don Stark, Raegan Kotz, Sam Gifaldi, Molly Price, Don Stark, Patricia Healy, Arnetia Walker, Randy Graff, Wren T. Brown, Mimi Kennedy, Kimberly Cullum, Jack Shearer. Setup has Andrew Clay (formerly Andrew Dice Clay) as postal worker Burt Clayton, Cathy Moriarty as his wife Alice, Raegan Kotz as daughter Danny, and Sam Gifaldi as young son Sean. Burt's rough but tender, Alice is bawdy but kind, the kids are TV kids. The future? Depends how low the public wants this style of comedy, but who thought this was something for the 8 p.m. crowd? For the pilot, Alice tries wheedling Burt into buying a house with their joint salaries (she's a cashier) so they'll have more room than in their apartment. House inspection seg is painful.
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