As a campy women-in-prison melodrama, this new syndicated, prime-time soap opera can't compare with an exploitation film like Jonathan Demme's 1974 Caged Heat. Still, Dangerous Women has a certain agreeable absurdity. The show's opening episodes are set in what must be the country's lowest-security prison, housing the most fashionably coiffed inmates imaginable. The dangerous women include Cissie (Lynn Hamilton of the daytime soap Generations), a worldly-wise older prisoner who tells a newcomer, ''Think about the happy times, Holly that helps in here.'' There's also Maria (Maria Rangel), who seems to teach a prison course in abbreviations (''So AAA stands for American Automobile Association. Class, can anyone guess what just AA stands for?'').
Women-in-prison efforts are usually steamy with repressed eroticism, but Dangerous Women has only one pawing hellcat, Crystal (Melanie Vincz), who tries to lure an electrician hunk named Randy (Fred Mancuso) over to her cell. But guard Jack Fisher (Stephen Liska) warns Randy away, saying, ''Hey, hey, beat it this is a dangerous woman and she eats guys like you for breakfast.''
Gee, Jack, I think that's exactly what Randy had in mind...C+