Picks and Pans Review: The Lot
(Thurs.-Fri., Aug. 19-20, 8 p.m. ET)
Show of the week
In 1937 a movie-studio makeup artist (Stephanie Faracy) warns her daughter (Linda Cardellini) not to pursue the risky dream of stardom: "This is Hollywood, a sunny place with shady people, where the stars twinkle 'til they wrinkle." And this is The Lot, an entertaining mini-miniseries (four half-hour episodes) where the melodrama is slightly tongue-in-cheek and the comedy sweetens its cynicism with nostalgia. Allen Garfield claims the biggest cut of the laughter as a harried studio chief who misspeaks in the quotable Sam Goldwyn style ("We spare no expense to save a dollar!"), and Sara Botsford has a grand time with the role of a dimming star losing the battle against age and avoirdupois. The Lot weakens in Part 4 after control of the studio passes from Garfield to a Howard Hughesian mogul (Jonathan Frakes), but I'd still like to see AMC green-light a sequel.
Bottom Line: Fun in the old film capital