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Monday, February 20, 2006

Jake in Progress

March 16, 2005

Just so it’s clear, I’d watch John Stamos in pretty much anything. And I have.

Since the summer of 1982 when he rock-and-rolled into General Hospital in his black leather jacket, I was smitten. Since then, I’ve watched him as the cool uncle in Full House, as a career criminal in Thieves, and even as a drummer for the Beach Boys. So, it’s with unadulterated glee that I can say, finally, Stamos has scored a smart sitcom worthy of him.

Jake in Progress is program-your-TiVo/VCR good. It’s Stamos’ best work yet. Jake is a New York celebrity publicist whose job is handling self-absorbed, egocentric actors and their every whim. (If this is even loosely based on reality, I fear for our species.)

Jake has issues himself. He’s a self-proclaimed ladies-man who has tired of his player ways. He suffers from sweaty palms, a too adorable smile, and the fear of getting old. (He celebrated his 32nd birthday three years in a row.) He is now on a quest to find “the one.” Lucky for us, it seems it may take a while.

Stamos is the star of this romantic situation comedy that showcases his humor, talent, and yes, his obvious real-life popularity with the ladies. Don’t be discouraged by the promos. They don’t do the show justice. It’s laugh-out-loud funny at times, folks, I kid you not. A running joke about the Seabiscuit soundtrack has me so intrigued I’m logging onto Amazon to take a listen. “It has a very romantic score,” Jake says.

The supporting cast is outstanding, too, especially Felicity alum Ian Gomez. (Although, I must admit, I kept waiting for him to break into his Javier accent.) Gomez is Adrian, an average-guy dentist, husband and Jake’s best friend. He’s the perfect foil to smooth operator Jake.

Have I mentioned Jake works at the Magnum PR Agency? (You know I can’t resist a show that gives a tongue-in-cheek nod to my all-time favorite detective Magnum, P.I.)

Why ABC is risking its best sitcom in years against ratings killers Survivor, Joey and The O.C. is beyond me. Sadly, I’m not sure it can steal viewers from the Orange County teen scene or the diehard “the-tribe-has-spoken” audience. But Joey may need to watch his back.

May I suggest a much better timeslot for Jake? How about Tuesday at 10 p.m.? It could go along way to help ease my NYPD Blue withdrawals. If you missed Sunday’s sneak peak of Jake in Progress, don’t fret. The show is scheduled for Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

The good news: I can finally stop watching Full House reruns for my Stamos fix. I’d say that’s progress, how about you?

Blind Justice - Considering the number of promos ABC ran touting this new show and the fact that it took over the NYPD Blue timeslot, I’m not surprised it did well in its debut. However, if this cop drama actually makes it, I’ll be surprised. It’s not that the acting isn’t good. Ron Eldard is mesmerizing as blind detective Jim Dunbar. The problem seems to be the fact that it’s another dark cop drama on an already crowded canvas. In addition, the plot seems implausible. My fearless prediction: It’ll take blind luck for this one to see more than one season. Decide for yourselves at 10 p.m. Tuesday on ABC.

LAX - The network said it was over. Finished. Canceled. Stick-a-fork-in-it done. But for some reason, the NBC Web site says, “new episodes start March 19.” Now, as much as I’d like to think my endorsement of the show and shameless begging to NBC convinced them to keep it on, I haven’t lost all touch with reality. I’m guessing the network simply decided to air the episodes that were already filmed, but never shown. My advice to fans of this guilty pleasure: catch it while you can. (Any chance to watch Heather Locklear and Paul Leyden should not be wasted.) The show airs at 8 p.m. Saturday. Ironically, or perhaps not, the title of the episode is “Cease and Assist.”

TV Land Awards - For those of you who can’t get enough of classic television, this annual awards show brings back cast favorites from such shows as The Love Boat, Charlie’s Angels, and The Golden Girls. I even hear Brandon and Dylan from Beverly Hills, 90210 will be there, sans the sideburns. It airs tonight at 9 p.m. on TV Land.

Originally published 3/16/05 in The Exponent Telegram newspaper.


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