Picks and Pans Review: Significant Others

updated 03/16/1998 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/16/1998 AT 01:00 AM EST

Fox (Wednesdays, 9 p.m. ET)

C+

Here's a new series with guts—the guts to have two principal characters who are rather annoying and a third who seems like an outright creep. The drama, from the creators of Party of Five (which it replaces until April 22), revolves around the long-term friendship of three L.A. singles in their 20s: would-be entrepreneur Campbell (Eion Bailey), job-hopper Nell (Jennifer Garner) and pornography writer Henry (Scott Bairstow). The March 11 pilot begins with Campbell feeling betrayed because Henry and Nell have been sexually involved without telling him—as if his advice and consent were required. Campbell is even more aggrieved to learn that his ex-girlfriend Jane (Elizabeth Mitchell) will marry his older brother Ben (Michael Weatherly). Though Campbell dumped Jane, he apparently claims first dibs. Nell could be speaking for all concerned when she asks Campbell, "Why do I care so much about you?" The question remains unanswered through the March 18 episode, as he tries to wheedle friends and family into investing in a half-baked business scheme.

Chronically ambivalent Nell and unfulfilled artist Henry, while sending mixed emotional signals to each other, will continue being drawn to Campbell. Maybe we will too. With all its tiresome talk about facing adulthood and fearing commitment, the show is strangely true to life. And Campbell has that "please love me" look in his eyes.

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