The latest cartoon series to hit prime time features more attractive and imaginative animation than Capitol Critters, but Fish Police‘s humor doesn’t come within swimming distance of The Simpsons‘. Based on Steve Moncuse’s cult-hit comic books about crime-fighting carp, Fish Police follows the exploits of an underwater police department’s Inspector Gil (his voice is provided by John Ritter). Gil solves crimes while he and everyone around him emit a ceaseless flow of fish-themed sight gags, jokes, and puns. Sure, some of these are funny: When Gil notices a crime suspect paying more attention to a shapely female fish than to his questions, he snaps, ”I said ‘Inspector Gil,’ not ‘inspect her gills’!” But before the first episode was over, I was already tired of being asked to laugh at the running joke that Gil’s police badge is actually a wriggling starfish. Moncuse’s comics are a lot more varied and better constructed — their plots worked as mysteries, whereas here the stories are just excuses for more fish humor. This is a stinky idea. C