Kyle Secor gets 'Party' invitation

Critic's choice: TV

October 10, 1999|By David Zurawik

Under the heading "Zen Boy Finds Work," one of the nicer little surprises of the new fall season is Kyle Secor showing up on "Party of Five" as a publisher who hires Julia (Neve Campbell) to write a book for his firm.

If you missed the sixth- season premiere of the critically acclaimed family drama Tuesday, don't worry, Secor will be appearing in the next seven episodes as Julia comes to work for him.

Ultimately, he and Julia will even sleep together. (Hey, this is Fox, after all. Workplaces exist on Fox mainly so characters can meet other characters with whom to mate.)

But "Party of Five," a drama about a group of siblings carrying on after the deaths of their parents, is a fine series -- one of the smartest and most engaging on network television. Secor's recurring role only looks to make the series even better.

I always felt Secor had a sexual suggestiveness that could have been explored more fully on "Homicide: Life on the Street" to get better ratings without compromising the integrity of the show. Pairing him with a star like Campbell looks like a very cool move on the part of producers Chris Keyser and Amy Lippman.

OK, OK, I know, enough with the "Homicide" coulda-woulda-shouldas.

"Party of Five" airs Tuesday nights at 9 on WBFF (Channel 45).

There is another pleasant surprise this week for those who have the Cinemax cable channel, the premiere of a new film from Mike Binder ("Crossing the Bridge" and "Indian Summer") starring Mariel Hemingway.

"The Sex Monster" features the good Mariel Hemingway -- the one you saw in "Manhattan" and "Personal Best" -- in a comic sex romp about a woman who, at her husband's urging, agrees to a menage a trois and then likes it way too much. Binder is terrific as husband Marty, who finds himself locked out of the bedroom as his wife starts taking up with every one of their female friends.

"The Sex Monster" is part of a new Cinemax package, "First on Max," which presents new films before their theatrical and video releases.

Cinemax's "The Sex Monster" airs Friday night at 8 with four replays in coming weeks.

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