New TV season proves there is life after O.J.
‘Murder One’ is the best of the best, but ‘Central Park West’ is
bottom of barrel
By Jennifer Richmond
Daily Bruin Senior Staff
Just in case you’ve been so caught up with the O.J. Simpson
its verdict that you have missed all the new shows on TV, here’s
review of what’s hot and what’s not.
UPN’s "Nowhere Man." Another "Fugitive"-type show, the dramatic
Man" follows Thomas Veil (Bruce Greenwood) as he tries to
life he once had after he loses it because of a photograph he
With such unique storylines, you can’t help but be sucked in
get-go. Everything is going great for Veil. His wife loves him,
photo show is a big hit and everything seems perfect – until he
of the bathroom of his favorite restaurant to find his wife
missing and the
owner, who’s known him for years, staring at him blankly. No one
and now he’s running for his life. "Nowhere Man" is a great show
with a new
and interesting twist every week.
ABC’s "The Naked Truth" comes in a close second. When
Laura Wilde (Tea Leoni) can’t make it working for a regular
paper, she is
forced demean herself as an employee of "The Comet," a
Most of the portrayal of Wilde’s job is pretty realistic,
when it comes to what she has to go through to photograph
Whenever there’s a huge opening, "Extra" and "Entertainment
always around, snapping pictures and asking questions about
But "Truth" gets its slant from Leoni’s character. She is
Pulitzer Prize-nominated photo-journalist competing with the
scum of the
earth devoted to getting any naughty picture they can of the
the moment. And creator Chris Thompson thrives on this idea,
Wilde’s nick-name – "Ethics" – bestowed on her by the old pros.
continues to put Leoni in the position of succumbing to the evil
surrounds her and the end results are always priceless.
NBC’s "Caroline in the City," another plus this season, will
well just because it’s squeezed in between "Seinfeld" and "ER."
not the touted Lea Thompson that makes the show the fun it is;
assistant, Richard (Malcolm Gets).
Gets is the thorn in Thomson’s side. Although Thompson is the
like Chandler from NBC’s other hit "Friends," has all the best
always steals the spotlight. It’s his sarcasm and affinity to
come up with
the perfect line to any situation that makes him the gem he
The other star would have to be Thompson’s next-door neighbor,
(Amy Pietz). She, without a doubt, is the modern Rhoda from the
"Maude." She’s another sarcastic pain, but her stinging remarks
constant interruptions make for a great treat.
But while these three shows are great in their attempts, the No.
goes to Stephen Bochco’s "Murder One."
Like classic Bochco, his newest production has a captivating
you can’t find anywhere else. Whether it be the script, the
the incredible actors he seems to find, Bochco has a way of
together a show that ends up being an award winner every
This time the award goes to Bochco’s leading man, Daniel
plays the ernest role of Ted Hoffman in another trial of the
Coming from a stage background, Benzali understands when to give
it his all
and when to back off and simply let the lines flow. Even some of
corniest lines come off brilliantly because of his quiet
Although Benzali makes "Murder One" the masterpiece it is, the
wouldn’t be the brilliant piece of art Bochco has created if it
the supporting cast, all of whom have qualities that stand out
There’s one small problem with "Murder One – ABC decided to put
against NBC’s mega-hit "ER." Unfortunately this could mean a
But because the drama began on Tuesday nights, it may have
drummed up a big
enough audience to give "ER" a tough fight. But we’ll have to
verdict on that one.
What’s not hot …
Coming in at the top of the list is CBS’s new answer to FOX’s "X
– "American Gothic." The drama follows "X Files’" footsteps with
that it maintains a spine tingling weirdness. But unlike "X
"Gothic" seriously lacks when it comes to plot.
The weirdness creates suspense and fear with tactics like
written in blood, a child’s voice constantly repeating the
"Someone’s at the door," and Sheriff Lucas Buck (Gary Cole), who
well be Satan. Unfortunately, that’s as far as the fright show
that’s not enough to keep a series running.
The story has the town sheriff chasing Caleb Temple (Lucas
the sheriff killed the boy’s sister and the boy’s father died
The show becomes a chase similar to the old favorite "The
rather than a desperate search for justice, "Gothic" is a war
and evil to see how long good can stay ahead. An interesting
topic, but not
interesting enough to maintain an audience for an entire
Next we have NBC’s "Brotherly Love" starring the Lawrence
your typical family sitcom. Three brothers who are trying to get
under one roof and their supervisor of a mother, who has just
into their lives. What makes this one different? The fact that
brothers are real life brothers. By George I think we have a
winner here –
The comedy is dull, boring and predictable, and that’s the best
be said about it. Joey Lawrence’s time has come and gone. Now
it’s time for
him to focus on his failing music career.
The young UPN Network was lucky enough to get on this list
they’re starting the season similarly to how they ended it –
Granted their top show, "Star Trek Voyager," is still going
their new shows are seriously lagging, especially "Deadly
With the computer being the hot topic of the moment, UPN figured
computer game gone awry would be a great action-adventure show.
it is an interesting concept, the result bytes.
Dr. Gus Lloyd (James Calbert) creates a video game using all the
he can’t stand as models for his bad guys. But when the system
his lead bad guy, the jackal (Christopher Lloyd), comes to life
the other villains with him. Another case of good versus
Each show is a different level of the game. And with each new
comes a new villain. Lloyd and his ex-wife, Lauren Ashburn
find themselves battling each new enemy for survival. Their
killing their opponent and making it to the next level and the
Give me a break. This game was over long before it started.
Last and definitely least worth anybody’s time is CBS’s newest
line of Darren Starr trashy prime-time soap operas, "Central
Park West." I
don’t know why their last attempt with "Models Inc." didn’t clue
that their time has come and gone. We want new story lines!
Who cares that this time it’s set in New York. It’s still the
girl trying to lay her new boss’ husband, while the fresh lawyer
keep his name out of the paper, but falls in love with an
reporter. Typical, boring and predictable. Even "Melrose" is
this tripe, and that’s not saying much.
Daniel Benzali(right) and Michael Hayden star in "Murder One,"
which will follow one murder case for the entire season