The Beverly Hillbillies | Chicago Reader

The Beverly Hillbillies

I never saw the original TV sitcom, which ran from 1962 to '71, but this godawful retooling with a new cast—Jim Varney as Jed, Diedrich Bader as Jethro, Erika Eleniak as Elly May, and Cloris Leachman as Granny, not to mention Lily Tomlin, Rob Schneider, Lea Thompson, Dabney Coleman, and, in walk-ons, Dolly Parton and Zsa Zsa Gabor—doesn't make me feel the least bit culturally deprived. Director Penelope Spheeris brings the same dogged cheerfulness to the material that she brought to Wayne's World, but since the comedy here is predicated on an audience's feeling of superiority to everyone on-screen, it made me long for the wit and satire of Al Capp. Four writers worked on the script, and they all should hang their heads in shame.

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