Real-life pals and hip-hoppers Redman and the Wu-Tang Clan's Method Man are starring in a Fox half hour, this one a scripted sitcom called Method & Red. The premise is that these buddies buy a big house in a New Jersey suburban white enclave; they're kept somewhat in line by Method's mom (the marvelous Anna Maria Horsford, of the '80s sitcom ''Amen'' as well as movies like the terrific ''Friday''), but they throw parties that rattle their neighbors' china.
You can tell this series was probably sold on the strength of the way it plays into the common Hollywood notion that nothing is funnier than seeing uptight white people either scared of or trying to act like black people. (The Steve Martin-Queen Latifah goof ''Bringing Down the House'' is the trend's apotheosis.) ''The Daily Show'''s whip-smart Beth Littleford is squirmily good playing a nervous ''neighbor lady,'' as Meth refers to her. ''My name is Nancy,'' she says testily. ''Yeah, like I'm gonna remember that,'' replies Method genially.
Indeed, geniality is what makes this show a charmer. Yes, it skirts pernicious cliches about rappers as booty-hunting sybarites. The best compliment I can give ''Method & Red'' is that its funniest lines sound improvised, as when Meth says fondly to a young white boy after chiding him for complaining about his mom, ''Get on outta here with your big stop-sign head.''