Picks and Pans Review: Hollywood Off-Ramp
The Twilight Zone goes to Tinsel-town in this anthology series, which premiered in early June. Handicapped by a lack of atmosphere (it's filmed in Vancouver) and an obviously limited budget, Hollywood Off-Ramp manages to take us on a fairly intriguing ride.
The best effort so far (rerunning June 17 at midnight) was a stylish black-and-white study of a ruthless '40s gossip columnist (Jim Metzler) who got a comeuppance that had "poetic justice" typed all over it. The June 19 episode is clever but less accomplished. Daniel Roebuck plays a husband with couch-spud tendencies who wins a big-screen TV and finds it's programmed exclusively for him—with a cool blonde anchor-woman insisting on his undivided attention. "What the episode needs is a sharper ending. The June 26 offering is an All About Eve-type tale about an ambitious aide (Sarah Deakins) who discovers that her actress employer (Joanna Cassidy) borrows the talents of screen legends through a secret ritual at Mann's Chinese Theatre. Merging spiritually with Barbara Stanwyck sounds like a swell way to pass an audition, but we're never shown adequate evidence of how the trick works. Host Brian Unger (Talk Soup) handles the arch commentaries with aplomb.
Bottom Line: Rates a brief stop