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Monday, February 20, 2006

Something wicked this way comes: Point Pleasant, Committed and Medium

January 26, 2005

Satan’s daughter is living in New Jersey. Patricia Arquette is seeing dead people. And beloved Newhart fave Tom Poston is living in a closet, literally.

That’s just a sample of what you’ll see if you’re checking out the networks’ newest crop of winter shows. A crop that is mediocre at best, with the exception of Medium.

Point Pleasant - It’s a little bit The Omen, a little bit Carrie and a whole lot of creepy. I’m always up for a classic tale of good versus evil, but the Devil himself couldn’t get me addicted to this show. Satan’s daughter washes ashore in a sleepy New Jersey town and discovers that her bad moods can have tragic consequences. For example, with just a look, she converts her jealousy into a raging fire that torches the object of her affection’s vehicle, with his date still inside. OK, so we’ve all fantasized about getting revenge on those who’ve done us wrong, but this young lady puts thoughts into actions. While the show, overall, didn’t work for me, the cast is fabulous. Grant Show, of Melrose Place fame, is wonderfully wicked as Satan’s right-hand man. Sam Page is fantastic, too. Unfortunately, that swarm of killer wasps offing the priest and that scary symbol on the Evil One’s eyeball creeped me out. Unlike the title, it wasn’t a pleasant experience. The show airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on FOX.

Committed - Considering how starved I am for a good comedy, I desperately wanted to like this new show. It has Tom Poston a.k.a. George Utley, so how bad could it be? Well, in a nutshell, he plays a dying clown who lives in the main character’s walk-in-closet. Yes, it’s that absurd. The main characters Nate and Marni are just as nutty. He comes from a family with a history of mental illness, and she’s either wacky, free-spirited, or forgot to take her meds. Emmy award-winning actress Jennifer Finnigan plays Marni. I’ve been a fan of Finnigan since her work on daytime television, but that nasally thing she does with her voice for this character borders on annoying. There were a couple laugh-out-loud moments, but Committed isn’t the comedy to save the genre. NBC is calling it a hit. But I wouldn’t get too committed. Catch it Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. on NBC.

Medium - I’d like to tell you this was the best hour of television I’ve seen during the winter show debuts. But honestly, I only watched it for 15 minutes. That’s all I could take, viewing it alone with my heart pounding and the hair on the back of my neck standing up. So, I’ll tell you it was the best 15 minutes I’ve seen of any new show this winter. You see, Arquette’s character sees dead people. Really. Their eerie corpses appear to her in ghostly form to give her clues to help the police solve their murders and right their wrongs. Yes, it’s reminiscent of The Sixth Sense. But still wildly entertaining, if you don’t mind getting scared. I know you’re probably asking yourself, do we really need another crime drama? To which my answer would be a resounding, “No.” But if it’s this one, “Yes, we do.” It’s that good, or at least the part was that I saw through my finger-covered eyes. Catch it Mondays at 10 p.m. on NBC.

Originally published 1/26/05 in The Exponent Telegram newspaper.


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