USA (Wed., June 16, 9 p.m. FT)
A pony-tailed Michael Nouri plays a happy-go-lucky Detroit cab driver who has seen it all in his rear-view mirror. Then a Belgian beauty (Joanna Pacula) offers him a sizable sum to drive her to Seattle. She's being hotly pursued by a guy (Michael Ironside) who has a supply of bullets and a totally bogus law-enforcement badge for all occasions.
Soon Nouri and Pacula are cruising along, sharing aspects of their complicated souls with each other, making this movie like a Hairy Chapin song with guns. After a nice set-up, the film rockets around sloppily before ending, as do so main traveling salesmen and wayward FBI agents, in Billings, Mont.
CBS (Fridays, 8:30 p.m. FT)
Set in Buffalo, this summer sitcom concerns an old-fashioned father-and-son barbershop (run by Dakin Matthews and Robert Hays) sharing space with a chic beauty salon (staffed by Margaret Whitton and Julia Campbell). The male side of the fence is stale and tiresome, even resorting to jokes about ogling native women in National Geographic. (Gee, last lime I heard that I fell out of my Kdsel.) Julius J. Carry III plays a stylist who was once an Olympic hurdler and now has come out of the closet, losing all his commercial endorsements in the process. Cracks Matthews: "You try the Froot Loops people?"
In the female sector, the acting is worse (with the exception of the magisterial Whitton), but the gags are marginally better. In other words, the whole thing is a wash. At least it's not a perm. This sham is history after five weeks, which, by the way, is about as long as summer lasts in Buffalo.
TNN (Mon., June 21, 8:30 p.m. FT)
Yeeha! This performance series hits its seasonal crest with a show featuring Leo Kottke and Little Feat.
Kottke, the nimble acoustic-guitar picker, is quietly astounding on the intricate artful instrumentals "Oddball." "Regards from Chuck Pine" and "Last Steam Engine Train." But the real surprise is Little Feat going unplugged. They do an acoustic set that takes in "Six Feet of Snow" and "Cajun Girl. As always, the problem with this series is that it doesn't last long enough, dagnabit.
On PBS's sparkling cider of a series, Fame in the 20th Century, host Clive James averred that celebrity is a byproduct of the camera close-up. He obviously didn't see the 60 Minutes interview with Whoopi Goldberg, which was reshown last week. The segment employed a mystifying, magnifying, unflattering extreme close-up of Whoopi, a kind of microscopic view only a far-sighted dermatologist could love. Whoa, 60 Minutes, back off! That was a closer look at Whoopi—or anyone else—than I really care to see.