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CRIT-O-MATIC TV REVIEWS.

Byline: David Kronke

``Complete Savages'' (ABC Channel 7; 8:30 p.m. Friday)

Logline: Keith Carradine stars as the patriarch of the Savages, an all-male, no-hygiene home. His sons are the usual assortment of ne'er-do-wells - dumb jock (Erik von Detten), self-absorbed musician (Shaun Sipos), extreme-sports enthusiast (Evan Ellingson), wormy bully magnet (Jason Dolley) and, of course, the nominally normal if love-struck decent kid (Andrew Eiden).

Pros: Carradine's amiable presence sets the tone. Writers Julie Thacker- Scully and Mike Scully (both late of ``The Simpsons'' and, uh, the honestly titled ``The Pitts'') create a cartoonish slobbishness that can be amusing - imagine a live-action Homer and Bart. Mel Gibson directed tonight's premiere; it's mercifully less brutal than his last directorial effort.

Cons: The laugh track hasn't just been sweetened, it's been pumped crazy on steroids, which has the unfortunate, counterintuitive effect of underscoring that certain gags simply aren't that funny, such as the opening salvo in which the dumb jock shoves two of his brothers into his sodden armpits, a joke they actually repeat.

In a nutshell: Harmless, moderately charming, intermittently amusing: In today's dismal network-comedy world, that's virtually revolutionary.

Our rating: Two stars

``dr. vegas''

(CBS Channel 2; 10 p.m. Friday)

Logline: Bringing simplistic morality to the land of amorality: Rob Lowe stars as Dr. Billy Grant, a medic with a gambling jones whose sleazy buddy with a heart of gold (Joe Pantoliano) has given him a clinic in the middle of his casino; they spend their days alternately bickering over medical ethics, pulling one another's fat from the fire, then making up.

Pros: Can't beat the cast, which, in addition to Lowe, includes the last two guys to botch this time period: ``The Handler's'' Pantoliano and ``Robbery Homicide Division's'' Tom Sizemore (here's guessing the latter's extracurricular activities will cause him to miss an episode or two). Amy Adams, as an idealized and idealistic nurse who inexplicably believes in Grant (and who, naturally, moonlights as a babe), transforms her silly role into something surprisingly palatable.

Cons: Boy, are the story lines splashily goofy: Next week, the deceptively demure daughter of a Middle Eastern magnate behaves as if she's starring in her own ``Girls Gone Wild'' video, while Dr. Grant nobly punches back against the lucratively corrupt world of boxing.

In a nutshell: You know how they say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas? This should've stayed in Vegas.

In a nutshell: Two and one half stars

CAPTION(S):

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Photo:

no caption (cast of ``Complete Savages'')
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Sep 23, 2004
Words:417
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