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Tv Review : Yet Another Benighted Cop Show

March 11, 1987|HOWARD ROSENBERG | Times Television Critic

Are you ready for this . . . again ?

Fighting Partners No. 1,826: Chicago cop Joey La Fiamma (Michael Pare) is assigned to Houston (don't ask why), where he's temporarily paired with Levon Lundy (Michael Beck) in the two-hour premiere of "Houston Knights" at 9 tonight on CBS (Channels 2 and 8).

A street-tough Chicagoan and a folksy Texan ordered to work together on a murder case? Oh nohhhhhh!

Joey is very Italian and talks like Rocky--Yo!--while Levon is very country, drives a jeep and uses such expressions as "down yonder." Joey is surly and obnoxious; Levon is a lamb and likable. Joey likes Chinese food, Levon barbecued ribs. Joey wears tassel loafers, Levon boots and a cowboy hat.

"Are we workin' together?" Joey grouses. "It looks that way," Levon twangs.

Will these two palookas please stop it? No way. It's hatred at first sight. They even have a fist fight and beat each other up. They're so busy bickering that they take almost two hours to blow away all the bad guys in this dopey, stereotypical (Texans call Joey a "Yankee"), violent, 21-corpse debut. The series will continue on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. through the end of April, temporarily displacing "The Equalizer."

The carnage does not go unnoticed, as Joey and Levon make a big impression on their boss, Lt. Beaumont (Robyn Douglass). "You two sure . . . get results," she marvels. "But you seem to be butting heads. I would like to know how you feel about being partners?"

Is this beautiful cop-babe wacko or something? These two lugs working together permanently?

"No can do!" they reply in unison.

In TV, though, always can do. In fact, simply must do. As the premiere ends, the newly partnered Joey and Levon are having another argument and are about to slug it out again.

Doesn't this sound exciting?

Somewhere in this maze of stupidity, from Jay Bernstein in association with Columbia Pictures Television, there's a plot, but nothing that bears repeating. Also, nothing that bears watching.

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