Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

TV REVIEWS : 'Brisco County' Full of Self-Mocking Spoofs

August 27, 1993|HOWARD ROSENBERG

"The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr." is gratifying nonsense, a low-flaming but often-witty hybrid of "Blazing Saddles," Indiana Jones and Bruce Lee that genially plugs the Western genre right through the heart.

The Fox fall series premieres at 8 tonight on Channel 11 with a double-sized two-hour episode that introduces Bruce Campbell in the title role as a Harvard Law-educated, humor-slinging adventurer who is hired by powerful San Francisco business magnates to guard their interests by neutralizing the Not-So-Old West's most notorious outlaws. They saddle him with a three-piece-suited companion named Socrates Poole (Christian Clemenson).

Brisco immediately comes into conflict with menacing bounty hunter Lord Bowler (Julius Carry) and meaner-than-mean John Bly (Billy Drago), the dirty, dusty Western Moriarty who personally shot dead Brisco's lawman father, Brisco County, Sr.

Bly: "A son . . . seeking revenge for the death of the father." He pauses. "I love it!" His plan? "Get Brisco in Frisco."

These are the self-mocking rhythms that drive the premiere of this series in which Brisco becomes the first Western hero to get a damsel's dress caught in his fly. Even bigger snags loom, though, as Brisco encounters the Scarred Foot Clan of Tongs ("Chinatown!" Brisco grouses, sounding like Jack Nicholson in "Chinatown") and goes undercover as Kansas Wily Stafford to penetrate the criminal domain of Big Smith (M.C. Gainey). One of Big Smith's gang asks: "Where are you from, Kansas?"

Campbell plays Brisco with smooth and easy camp while not going over the top. He gets good support, particularly from Drago and Kelly Rutherford as the seductive Dixie Cousins, with whom "over the hill and down through the valley" takes on an exciting new meaning.

No, it's not Louis L'Amour.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|