As he proved with the brief, terrific South Central (1994), producer-creator Ralph Farquhar knows how to bring African-American life to television without disguising or cheapening it.
THE FIVE WORST 1 ARLI$$ (HBO) A lot of sitcoms contain no laughs, but arid Arli$$ isn’t just mirthless, it’s the year’s most pathetic rip-off.
Representing a final flourish of ’90s irony, it’s a deconstruction of talk shows that’s now even better than David Letterman’s.
The results are dumb, sure, but also lacking in Baywatch’s blithe goofiness.
5 THE SIMPSONS (Fox) Unappreciated now because the media celebrated Bart-mania years ago, The Simpsons continues to be the most reliable satire on network TV.