Here are the summer’s best, worst, and weirdest TV moments
Hi, TV fans — it’s time for a mid-summer TV scorecard of the hits, the misses, the homers, and the strike-outs.
Time of Your Life Two strikes and you’re out. Fox tried to relaunch this Jennifer Love Hewitt nonstarter, to minor league ratings. When is Hewitt going to fulfill her real destiny and make the TV movie ”Hepburn II: This Time It’s Katherine!”
Young Americans Swing and a miss for the WB, which launched a far too conventional teen soap drama in a summer when viewers wanted their melodrama from real people. Suggestion for next summer: Enroll a real-life slum kid in a real-life posh summer school and call it ”Hazed and Confused.”
Big Brother A solid single. As far as I’m concerned, the intelligence and entertainment factors of the show plummeted the moment William Collins (a.k.a. Hiram Ashantee) was voted out. Which doesn’t mean the series still cannot yield interesting meltdowns. What I cannot fathom is why CBS is letting bad reviews from other TV critics cow it into being defensive; can’t the network look past the knee-jerk moralizing and recognize that, if nothing else, they have used their airwaves to offer one of the most vital portraits of an African American in years?
Crossing Over With John Edward Ground rule double. The Sci-Fi network’s new 11 p.m. nightly talk show featuring a New Yawk-tough psychic is bonkers TV at its best. Edward claims to contact dead relatives and friends of audience members. (Maybe he can find out why Jenna’s kids never sent her a greeting-card videotape to ”Survivor.”) The studio audience gasps, sobs, and nearly declares Edward their savior. Switch back and forth between this and USA network’s ”Strip Poker” and your mind will blow.
Survivor A grand slam. The removal of the odious Greg (What do you call a guy who manipulates both sexes, a mistermisogynist?) permits the master schemer Richard and nobody’s lunkhead Gervase to square off. Proof of pop cultural saturation: ”getting voted off the island” replaces ”Is that your final answer?” as the country’s most annoying conversational cliché.