Never play 'Never Say Never' again


March 05, 1994|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Special to The Sun

Except for the premiere of a new CBS drama series that reunites two producers and two stars of "St. Elsewhere," all the action tonight is on cable. Heading the list: a wild and delightfully mature cartoon series called "Duckman," and the TV premiere of a wild and delightfully immature movie called "Groundhog Day."

* "Never Say Never Again." (8 p.m.-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Actually, in this case, it wouldn't have been such a bad idea. Most of the plots and stunts seem purloined from previous Bond stories and movies, and Klaus Maria Brandauer, as the villain, lights up the screen a lot more than Sean Connery's female costar, Kim Basinger. ABC repeat.

* "The Road Home." (9 p.m.-10 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Bruce Paltrow and John Tinker of "St. Elsewhere" teamed to produce this new series, cast fellow "St. Elsewhere" alumni Terence Knox and Ed Flanders as the male leads, and paired them with two truly classy actresses: Karen Allen and Frances Sternhagen. However, the pilot of this "family values" drama resolves everything a bit too neatly, although it establishes characters worth revisiting. Knowing the past work by these actors and producers, "The Road Home" can and should improve in weeks to come. CBS.

* "Friends and Lovers." (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- This pilot by the makers of MTV's "The Real World" "video verite" series was not picked up by NBC, which is a blessing. Traumas here range from the serious (infertility and sexual incompatibility) to the trivial (a major fuss over the fact that a "fossil watch" doesn't work). The key word here isn't fossil. It's facile. NBC.

* "Groundhog Day." (8 p.m.-9:45 p.m., HBO) -- Ironically, this movie holds up especially well to repeat viewings, so be sure to tape it. Reader challenge of the month: Can you count how many days Bill Murray is shown trapped in his own time-loop limbo?

* "Weird Science." (10 p.m.-10:30 p.m., USA) -- This weekly version of the wish-fulfillment movie is astoundingly bad.

* "Duckman." (10:30 p.m.-11 p.m., USA) -- VCR Alert: With Jason Alexander of "Seinfeld" as the angst-ridden hero, and snippets of Frank Zappa's music playing on the soundtrack, "Duckman" has "cult hit" written all over it. It's wild, witty, original and very, very strange. No matter what you might expect, "Duckman" will surprise you.

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