Picks and Pans Review: Mysterious Ways

UPDATED 07/24/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 07/24/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT

NBC (Mondays, 8 p.m. ET)

This average new drama runs on two creative tracks—a little X-Files, a little Touched by an Angel—so there's no reason why it shouldn't air on two networks. On July 24, Mysterious Ways starts what NBC calls a "multi-episode preview"; on Aug. 22, it premieres on the family-oriented PAX network, in which NBC has a financial stake.

"Declan Dunn—I investigate miraculous phenomena." That's how the main character (portrayed by Adrian Pasdar) introduces himself. Actually, Declan is an anthropology professor, but straight jobs are such a bore. In the pilot he forms a partnership of sorts with psychiatrist Peggy Fowler (Rae Dawn Chong), who will play Ms. Skeptical to Declan's Mr. Mystical. Though he seems nosy, rude and presumptuous, Declan has Peggy pretty well charmed by the end of the first episode, which finds them probing the case of a boy who miraculously—or not—escaped drowning in an icy lake. In what may be a bad sign, the opener yanks on our heartstrings when a gentle tug would do.

Bottom Line: Not all that phenomenal

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