TV Review

University Hospital

EW's GRADE
B

Details Genre: Drama

As critics hail this TV season as representing The Return of the Quality Drama Hour, forward-thinking producer Aaron Spelling is busy trashing up the concept in University Hospital, a series that answers the question, What if Hugh Hefner had cast ER? In University Hospital, four curvy young nursing students wear uniforms that are for some unexplained reason tighter and shorter than the ones worn by the hardworking middle-aged nurses all around them. Despite this sartorial constraint, the heroic quartet still manages to dash down hospital corridors during emergencies, the camera closely following their every bounce of effort. Our protagonists — played by Rebecca Cross, Hillary Danner, Hudson Leick, and Alexandra Wilson — are also roommates, and we quickly learn that Leick's Tracy Stone is indeed, as the show's press release states, ''a manipulative, man-chasing beauty.'' True to the formula that Spelling developed in Dynasty, Melrose Place, and Models Inc., Tracy serves as University Hospital's designated-bitch character, and she's a very effective one — enjoyably hateful. University Hospital is up-front about its exploitation — the series' first shower scene takes place beneath the writer's credit in the premiere's opening moments — and it bears every sign of becoming a Baywatch-level camp tune-in. A viewer's only conceivable worry is that the hospital is located in Washington State, thereby minimizing the chances of beach scenes. But I say, never underestimate the fertile mind of Mr. Spelling. B

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Originally posted Jan 13, 1995 Published in issue #257 Jan 13, 1995 Order article reprints
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