He hasn't met him yet, but investment banker Gavin Corbett (John Larroquette) doesn't like what he hears about the man his daughter Rebecca (Emily Holmes) plans to marry. "He doesn't actually have a job," she says. Strike one. "He has a cause." Strikes two and three.
This early scene, in which Larroquette plays the appalled, possessive papa to perfection, raises hopes that Till Dad Do Us Part
will be an amusing variation on the Father of the Bride
theme. But as the comedy grows broader and broader, this TV movie wears ever thinner. Attempting to spy on Rebecca's environmentalist fiancé, Gavin falls off a boat and comes home sopping wet to wife Virginia (Larroquette's old Night Court cohort Markie Post). Scheming to push Rebecca into the arms of a handsome junior-executive type, Gavin takes them sailing—and soon all hands are vomiting over the side of a vessel oh-so-appropriately named Nausea. Gavin goes hiking, takes a pratfall and comes under attack by a swarm of bees. Gavin works out at a gym and winds up holding his groin. Larroquette is funny as a guy in a business suit trying to manage his daughter's life. But the more exercise Gavin gets, the less laughing you'll do.
Bottom Line: Broken engagement
ABC (Wednesdays, 10 p.m. ET)
Show of the week
What would you get if you crossed CNN with Big Brother? That's roughly the premise of this flawed but provocative new drama series, which gets a six-episode run beginning June 13.
At the upstart World News Service reporters gather information and put it on TV in the usual way while omnipresent cameras cover all the behind-the-scenes moves for viewing over the Internet. The owner of this 24-hour operation (known as The Beast
because of its ravenous appetite for material) is Jackson Burns (Frank Langella), a visionary hustler whose rap varies from idealistic ("I want them to see us struggle with the truth") to deeply cynical ("The camera is God and demands a performance").
The pilot offers a compelling if ambiguous take on the timely question of whether to televise an execution, and the cool confidence of Langella's portrayal compensates for Jason Gedrick's posturing as a leather-jacketed outlaw journalist. But by episode 3, when a gunman menaces Burns live on WNS, you may wish The Beast
fed less on melodrama.
Bottom Line: More good news than bad
TNT (Tuesdays, 9 p.m. ET)
The ghost of her former partner (Will Yun Lee) has a tip for New York City police officer Sara Pezzini (Yancy Butler): "There's a fine line between clarity and insanity.... You just need to work on your confusion tolerance a bit."
After watching the first two episodes (June 12 and 19) of this violent series, I'd say my confusion tolerance is sorely taxed. If you're not familiar with the Witchblade
comic book or last year's TNT movie of the same name, you'll be searching for some meaning behind all the chasing, shooting, screaming and jumpy film editing. Alas, the scripts are rather stingy with hard information. I can report that Sara wears a bracelet that glows red every so often and turns into an unbeatably versatile weapon when needed. It's evident that sinister billionaire Kenneth Irons (Anthony Cistaro) covets this witchblade, but he's not about to spoon-feed us the whys and wherefores. "Common sense has never been a reliable guide to understanding the universe" is Irons's idea of a helpful observation. But to viewers who are turned on by the scene of a shackled model shrieking her head off as a big ugly snake crawls up her shapely body, the appeal of episode 2 will be crystal clear.
Bottom Line: Keep this blade sheathed
Sunday, June 17 NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK: E! TRUE HOLLYWOOD STORY
E! (9 p.m. ET) The documentary series recalls the hot boy band of the late 80s and early 90s.
Monday, June 18 ULTIMATE SURVIVAL GUIDE
Travel Channel (8 p.m. ET) Royal Air Force personnel show how positive thinking can be the key to staying alive.
Tuesday, June 19 GO FISH
NBC (8 p.m. ET) Kieran Culkin is a freshman seeking popularity in back-to-back episodes of a new high school sitcom.
Wednesday, June 20 THE REPLACEMENTS HBO (7 p.m. ET) Keanu Reeves
and Gene Hackman take the field for this 2000 movie about football strikebreakers.
Thursday, June 21 MEDICAL DETECTIVES
TLC (8 p.m. ET) Examine the case of a serial killer whose fate hangs on the reliability of hair evidence.
Friday, June 22 THE ROYLE FAMILY
BBC America (8 p.m. ET) It's the third-season premiere of this domestic sitcom about inelegant Brits.
Saturday, June 23 CBS SPORTS SPECTACULAR
CBS (3 p.m. ET) Pedal with Lance Armstrong as he prepares for this year's Tour de France.
Fox Family (Sun., June 17, 8 p.m. ET)