Picks and Pans Review: Camp Wilder
ABC (Fridays, 9:30 P.M. ET)
In this new anchor to ABC's weakening TGIF lineup, Mary Page Keller plays a Southern California nurse and single mother whose house is a hangout for her teenage brother (Jerry O'Connell) and his inseparable idiot-surfant friends (Jay Mohr, Margaret Langrick and Hilary Swank). Keller is uncomfortable as the disciplinarian den mother. "Inside," she says, "I still feel like a teenager...just with a really good complexion."
The show is a little slack in the humor department, but the scripts—at least the ones written by series creator Matthew Carlson—occasionally give the teens cool things to say, as when Swank counsels Langrick to be more aggressive romantically: "Every guy you get a chance with, you turn into a friend. Then you end up in your room all night listening to Tracy Chapman records in a fetal position."
Both Keller and O'Connell have spent time in the sitcom salt mines—she in Baby Talk, he in My Secret Identity. Obviously, they both learned a good deal about charm and timing in the process.
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