Sunday, December 27, 2009

Spotted: Lane Davies

Though it might be unwise for him to admit it in polite company, Lane Davies, our own original Mason Capwell of "Santa Barbara," once starred in a short-lived Fox sitcom called "Woops!" The premise of the 1992 show was the aftermath of a nuclear war, when six people -- seemingly the only survivors -- gather at a farm to try to carry on with their lives.

They're quite a mix, these six. Davies is magnificently Masonlike as Curtis Thorpe, a former powerful stockbroker, forever clad in suit and tie and appropriately arrogant and authoritative. He's joined by Fred Applegate of "Night Court" and "Growing Pains," a schlumpy former homeless guy; Evan Handler of "Sex and the City" (with hair this time), the level-headed schoolteacher who narrates the show; Meagen Fay, who as the "bleeding heart liberal" of the group is poorly defined even by early-'90s standards; Marita Geraghty as the sexy ditzy girl (though brunette instead of blond, which doesn't seem to make sense, given the show's overuse of cliches); and Cleavant Derricks, patient pathologist and (even more patient) token black guy.

We had a special BRBTV viewing of four "Woops!" episodes (thanks, Tracy!). Despite the fact that it's vintage television, the show gives new meaning to the notion of absurdist comedy. Right away in the first few moments you're almost subconsciously suspending disbelief (the disbelief that the show actually aired, that is), though the more you watch, the more the initial blow is softened. Does it grow on you? Well ... ummmm ... maybe if you find one of its stars continually fascinating ...

Of the four eps, the most enjoyable was the one giving the best screen time to Davies. In it, he's assigned the chore of cleaning the farm's septic tank. He's truly traumatized, especially after losing his tie (read: corporate identity). He slips into a delusional state where he believes he's back in the mid-'80s, before this nuclear holocaust, and he's once again commanding his empire. (Sorry, no flashbacks featuring C.C. or Eden!)

Given the "Gilligan"-esque premise, we can kinda understand the fact that the characters always wear the same clothes, but really -- they have a whole world of clothing at their disposal! Are you telling us it's all radioactive or something? There have to be closets of clothing upstairs at the farmhouse!

OK, sorry. Thinking too much.

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