TV Eye

On the WB:

Of all the networks, the WB is the most aggressive (and generous) with their promotional material, though reviewing a tape with caveats attached doesn't make the work easy. Notes about re-casting or re-shaping roles -- sometimes major ones at that -- causes a reviewing dilemma. In other words, why bother previewing a tape if the addition or subtraction of an actor will most likely create a different product? With that in mind, I'm only offering two previews -- one of the much-anticipated Buffy spin-off, Angel (Tue, 8pm, WB), and WB's newest contribution to the animated series, Mission Hill(Fri, TBA, Fox).

I have to confess, I've never been a big David Boreanaz fan. I was secretly happy to see him leave Buffy the Vampire Slayer, though I never thought he was spin-off material. The WB thought differently. Supernatural adventure and dark humor are featured in this Joss Whedon project. And with Whedon's able guidance and jackpot scripting, Angel may have more than a fighting chance. As Buffy brought the monsters of adolescence to life, Angel promises to do the same with early adulthood, featuring the same ironic humor that has created legions of Buffy fans. Post-Buffy, Angel finds himself in Los Angeles, joined by Buffy's Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter) and Glenn Quinn (Roseanne), working as private investigators in search of lost souls.

I never thought I would live to see the day when a Latino character said "Orale" on an animated series, but the time is now with Mission Hill. Emmy and Peabody Award-winning writers Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein (The Simpsons) have teamed to create what is called "the first animated network series about the world of teens and twentysomethings." The press is not far from the mark. Mission Hill is like no other animated series, most of which have a family at their core. In WB's contribution, the "family" is an unconventional collection of young people, à la Clerks, who work at underpaid jobs to get by and maybe throw a decent party once in a while. The series should raise some eyebrows, with some fairly candid scenes of underage drinking and sexual activity, as well as a gay male couple kissing in an opening scene of the pilot episode. This animated series is not for the children of parents who fear "bad influences" or "immoral" messages. However, I was touched by the fact that the gay couple mentioned (Gus and Wally) are sixtysomethings, involved in a long-term relationship. Likewise, the bi-ethnic pairing of "significant others" Natalie Leibowitz-Hernandez and Carlos Hernandez-Leibowitz, promises to be fertile ground for comedy and comment.

Highlights and comments on new series from the other networks will be made in future columns.


Take a station break atTVEye@auschron.com

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Tv, T.v., Television, Channels, Channel Surfing, Stations, Network, Margaret Moser

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