by Jennifer Squires Biller
After watching DRIVE, you may just say goodbye to road rage.
In fact, you may sympathize with the next guy who cuts you off in traffic and find yourself asking, “Why is he driving like the hounds of Hell are nipping at his tires?”
FOX’s new show DRIVE offers up a possible explanation for those crazy, aggressive drivers: They’re racing for their lives, the life of a loved one, or in some cases, just the $32 million prize.
This show is a little bit The Fast and the Furious and a little bit The Amazing Race, but with its own unique story premise. DRIVE has fast cars, action, humor, drama and a good-looking talented cast.
And did I mention it stars Nathan Fillion? He plays the main character, Alex Tully.
The concept of DRIVE is that a diverse group of drivers are participating in an illegal cross-country road race that, apparently, has dire consequences for the losers. Some of the participants have been forced to race; others are there willingly, with the hope of winning the prize money.
Several TV critics around the Web already have proclaimed their love of the show, including Maureen Ryan at The Chicago Tribune and Kristin Veitch at E!Online. I won’t go that far. It’s not really my type of TV, but that shouldn’t deter you. If fast cars, action, and adventure are your TV crack, then you don’t want to miss this one.
Here’s the main reason you should at least take DRIVE out for a spin: Tim Minear.
Minear is a writing genius. He has thrilled TV fans with his work on Lois and Clark, Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly and Wonderfalls. Honestly, if you told me that Minear had joined that dreadful Pussycat Dolls show, I’d be forced to tune in. That’s how good he is.
I won’t lie to you, though. I didn’t love this show the way I have previous Minear projects, such as Firefly and Wonderfalls. I found it a little hard to believe that the racers in DRIVE, who were coerced, didn’t head straight for the cops. (Yes, I know the two other aforementioned Minear shows included space travel and talking chotchkes, but that stretch of the imagination worked on those programs.)
As for DRIVE, no Tim Minear, I didn’t “hate it, in which case, the less said the better.” In fact, I think plenty of folks will enjoy the show, especially the male demographic.
TV fans will see plenty of familiar faces, beginning with Fillion. He plays a man forced into the race in an effort to find his kidnapped wife. Actor Kevin Alejandro, “Santos” of Ugly Betty, stars as a criminal bad-boy who meets his half-brother and sets out to prove something to his father. Felicity fans also will recognize actress Kristin Lehmen, who played Ben’s love interest Avery for a few episodes. Lehmen also starred on Prison Break and a number of other TV shows, before taking on the DRIVE role of Corinna Wiles. Wiles seems to hold the key to the secrets of the race. One of the funniest casting coups occurs when a leather-clad motorcycling couple takes off their helmets. I won’t tell you who the actress is, but let’s just say Lois and Clark fans will be squealing with delight.
In addition to those characters, the race participants also include new mother Wendy Patrakas (Melanie Lynskey), who is on the run from her husband; Hurricane Katrina survivors Ivy Chitty (Taryn Manning,) Leigh Barnthouse (Rochelle Aytes) and Susan Chamblee (Michael Hyatt) who are determined to start their lives over; and John Trimble (Dylan Baker), a conservative scientist who enters the race with his 15-year-old-daughter in an effort to be spontaneous.
DRIVE premieres this Sunday, April 15, on FOX. Check it out to see if it revs your engine.
Friday, April 13, 2007
by Jennifer Squires Biller