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Television Reviews : 'Cover Girl and the Cop': What 2 Women Can Do

January 16, 1989|LYNNE HEFFLEY

"The Cover Girl and the Cop" (at 9 p.m. on Channels 4, 36 and 39) is not the worst TV movie ever made. It could, however, be used as an argument to make bad television a punishable offense.

Julia Duffy is forced to take her vain, ditzy blond "Newhart" character a step too far. She plays Jackie, a Vanna White-type TV celebrity, pursued by killers because she can identify the murderer of a White House VIP.

Who better to protect her, and show her how to be a real woman, than tough rookie cop Denise (Dinah Manoff of "Empty Nest"), who has a basketball net in her apartment, calls men "scrods" and says "you're dead meat"?

(We can tell Denise is feminine underneath, though--she runs over curbs when she drives.)

Will Denise teach Jackie the beauty benefits of dog shampoo? When she says "act like a real woman," will it give Jackie the confidence to dress as a man and intimidate a bar full of thugs? Will Jackie persuade Denise to use her womanly gifts and put on a skin-tight dress and high heels, enter a swank hotel, gather important evidence and nail herself a wealthy boyfriend (without being mistaken for a hooker)?

Duffy and Manoff are appealing, but can the plot get any dumber or more insulting? Well, yes. You can expect lots of labored humor, chase scenes, irrational behavior on all sides and a messy denouement in a church--so silly it's almost worth watching the show for.

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