Picks and Pans Review: Oceanquest
NBC (Sun., Aug. 18, 8 p.m. ET)
Never in the history of TV or voyeurism has there been such an elaborate excuse to get a woman into a bathing suit. In oceanQuest, producer and "undersea expert" Al Giddings takes Miss Universe 1980, Shawn Weatherly, around the world for a year to introduce her to all the little fishies of the sea. The idea, Giddings says in an introduction, is to let the audience observe these wonders through the eyes of a typical person. Weatherly sure sounds typical. "A year of your life for the adventure of your life," she says. "I thought, 'Wow!' " She treats you to such incisive observations as, "I couldn't believe the way those sharks eat!" And she does wear bathing suits and—attention rubber lovers—wet-suits. But oceanQuest explores yet other frontiers of voyeurism. Before diving to face a great white shark, Giddings calls the beast White Death and tells Weatherly how its "50 saw-blade teeth impale" victims, while the camera focuses on Weatherly nervously and understandably biting her lip. It's enough to make you root for the sea monsters. Before taking a dip in the subfreezing waters of the Antarctic, Weatherly has enough sense to ask, "Why are we doing this?" Giddings replies, "To have fun." Fun for him seems to be watching goose bumps of fear rising on a bikinied beauty's body. There's one good thing about oceanQuest: It lasts only five weeks.
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