Lenny (1990) This modest, well-crafted, working-class sitcom could easily prove to be one of the season's best. On its surface, Lenny is a cross between Roseanne and… 1990-09-10 Comedy Lenny Clarke Alice Drummond Lee Garlington Jenna von Oy Peter Dobson Eugene Roche CBS
TV Review

Lenny (1990)

EW's GRADE
A-

Details Start Date: Sep 10, 1990; Genre: Comedy; With: Lenny Clarke; Network: CBS

This modest, well-crafted, working-class sitcom could easily prove to be one of the season's best. On its surface, Lenny is a cross between Roseanne and All in the Family. Lenny Clarke stars as Lenny Callahan, an Irish-Catholic guy with a big extended family — wife, three kids, parents, and brother. Lenny is an amiably opinionated cuss, but unlike Roseanne or Archie Bunker, there's not much that's whiny or mean-spirited about him. He seems genuinely to like his children and to enjoy their verbal jousts. You will, too, because these exchanges are well written.

Lenny Clarke, a stand-up comic by profession, is certainly a natural actor. Most sitcom stars reduce their characters to just a few mannerisms and moods, but Lenny comes across as a lot more than a stolid representative of the masses. Although it's clear that Lenny has been conceived as an affable fellow, Clarke isn't afraid to let us see him getting angry or confused.

The curt jokes in Lenny are helped by the blunt Boston accents in which they're delivered: The show sounds like a sitcom version of a George V. Higgins novel. Interesting lines pop up everywhere: A stout neighbor named Mrs. Lubie remarks at one point, ''The Lubies have always been big people- we're descended from the Goths.''

When was the last time a reference to the Goths found its way onto television? A-

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Originally posted Sep 21, 1990 Published in issue #32 Sep 21, 1990 Order article reprints