Picks and Pans Review: Nightmare Cafe
NBC (Fridays, 10 P.M. ET)
In this supernatural anthology series from Wes Craven, Lindsay (Mancuso FBI) Frost and Jack (Dynasty) Coleman work at a spooky, moveable diner mysteriously presided over by Robert Englund, who played Freddy Kreuger in Craven's Nightmare on Elm Street movies. Disoriented patrons who wander into this greasy-spoon limbo unwittingly get what they wish for, which often turns out to be bad news indeed.
Imaginative but unconvincing, the show is no Twilight Zone. It is, however, refreshingly nonlinear. Throw open a door, and you can walk out into an alley one time and an asteroid belt in deep space the next. Wander into the ladies' room, and you may suddenly find yourself in a shooting gallery as one of the cardboard cutout targets.
It's dicey to assign a grade, because the loose concept means the quality may vary enormously from week to week, depending on the script. I'll have to shift to Pass/Fail.
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