The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 20, 1999 - 9A
r the Daily
Look out Capeside, the WB has a
1 ew port to dock in. Continuing the
tradition of naming watery melodra-
ipas after waterways (the successful
"Dawson's Creek" and UPN's repre-
hensible "Hyperion Bay"), this sea-
son presents "Safe Harbor."
B r e n d a
the creator and
Safe executive pro-
Harbor ducer of the
*** WB's highest
The wB rated series, "7th
Mondays at 9 p.m. Heaven," "Safe
Harbor" is fami-
Te I e v i s i o n
Harrison plays a caring and generous
sheriff to whom the town Safe
Harbor undoubtedly owes its name.
He is the single father of three ado-
lescent boys, Jeremy Lelliott,
Christopher Khayman Lee and Jamie
Williams, who are pretty enough to
acquire H anson status. Harrison
Law & C
Call it "Law & Order Lite." Or "Law
& ;Order Heavy." NBC's new spinoff
series is two, two shows in one, in a man-
ner much different than its split-person-
"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"
li htens up the workaholic resolve of its
l arent by delving into the personal
lixs of its New York cops. But "SVU"
als& darkens the mood with its focus on
a sex-crimes unit that investigates the
sickest and most flagrant of sordid mis-
Case in point: Monday's premiere,
where this "elite squad" is assigned the
grisly multi-stab murder of a cabbie
whercathe perpetrator(s) also "sliced off
his4igar and took it with 'em." Yuck.
*you can stomach the details - and
keep the kids away from the set at this
divides his time between keeping the
Beaver Cleaver-esque town in more
than perfect order and giving golden
advice to his less than troubled sons.
The family, which consists of the
three boys, their father and their
grandmother (Rue McClanahan),
owns and lives in a motel. Each son
occupies his own room, an unusual
predicament which allows the boys
unlimited privacy. For three teenage
boys discovering the unusual species
of girls, this provides much room for
comic relief. Their father's greatest
concern, "girls in the room," is often
Their father's generosity is bound-
less, however. He takes custody of a
beautiful, blond teenage runaway,
played by Chyler Leigh. Also present
in the conglomeration of characters
which create the 21st century version
of a nuclear family is the youngest
son's best friend, played by Orlando
McClanahan is responsible for
most of the humor of "Safe Harbor,"
as she holds on to the sexy grand-
mother persona created in "The
Golden Girls." She is the family's
pseudo-mother, due to the unfortu-
nate death of the real mother, whom
the audience never meets.
early hour (be aware "L&O" creator
Dick Wolf has publicly blasted NBC for
not scheduling his adult show at 10
o'clock) - you'll be rewarded with the
usual spellbinding piecing together of
tales even more twisted than in the orig-
We need the relief of a light moment
every now and then, perhaps to be sup-
plied in the future by Richard Belzer's
John Munch character, transplanted
from "Homicide's" Baltimore to this
Manhattan setting. But he's ill-used in
the first episode after a nice introductory
how-do-you-do ("Do you think that your
conclusional pole vaults are personality-
or gender-based?" he queries a female
detective), even after returned Dann
Florek (of "L&O's" 1990-1993 seasons)
promises to tap Munch's "vast puncture-
wound experience" We have to settle
season of family
By Heather Riedy
for the Daily
If you like to feel warm all over
and need to revive your faith in fam-
ily values, the season premiere of
"7th Heaven" may be just where you
want to turn. The successful show is
based on the Camden family and
how all nine members pull together
to get through the day to day trials of
In the last season, Eric and Anne
Courtesy of The WB
Gregory Harrison and his family in the WB's post-Columbine "Safe Harbor."
"Safe Harbor" hurls the tradition- such as sexual abuse, pregnancy and
alism of the 1950s into the new mil- broken families.
lennium. This "feel good" series is Unlike many of the series on tele-
set in a land of fantasy with a facade vision today, "Safe Harbor" refuses
Mondays at 8 p.m.
a blessed gift of
large family of
into yet an even
bigger bunch of
more mouths to
feed the pressure
of how to care
for the family
At the same
the strength and
love of each
checking to make sure that each of
her seven children: Matt, Mary,
Lucy, Simon, Ruthie and the twins,
are as happy and on the right path.
As the oldest, Matt is faced with
big decisions in his passage to adult-
hood. He wants to be a good role
model for his younger siblings.
Mary and Lucy continue their roles
as the good-hearted, yet trying teens.
Simon is in the throws of puberty
and shocks the family with an impul-
sive change in his appearance while
Ruthie is just reaching the "big girl"
Although the twins add pressure to
the family's financial situation, their
roles are not yet clearly developed.
However, they are soon to receive
their own room which will finally
give their exhausted parents a little
bit of privacy since their birth.
Somehow this large family com-
bats all the odds and still comes out
on top. There are moments of ten-
sion and doubt but with faith every-
thing works out.
The season premiere is a great test
of the Camden Family. It deals with
the immediate Camden family as
well as the stress of Eric's family.
His parents return from an around
the world adventure, in addition to,
the revelation of his sister's big
the show is a must see if you, are
missing some family togetherness
time in your college lifestyle. The
premiere is a good lead into another
season of happy endings.
mimicking reality. It combines the
innocence of "Lassie" with the
unavoidable issues of harsh reality
to let go of the "happily-ever-after"
slices with grt
that the family is going to make it no
Eric Camden is a father to his fam-
ily as well as to the community. His
role as local minister tends to acd
stress, while at the same time
installing a greater sense of selfless-
ness to the character.
Mrs. Anne Camden continues her
loving role as a concerned mother,
mostly for his conspiracy theories and an
occasional "slice and dice" aside.
Luckily, we're quickly swept into the
emotional orbit of Mariska Hargitay as
an SVU detective who takes her job way
too personally, for reasons revealed late
in the game by mom Elizabeth Ashley.
Hargitay is starting to cement herself as
one of the more magnetic performers on
the tube; she had us transfixed during her
"ER" stint as Anthony Edwards' unstable
girlfriend, who ultimately proved herself
more mentally together than her guy.
Here, she's a heartbreaker, not roman-
tically but spiritually, acting tough to
camouflage a fundamental tenderness.
There's so much ferment in her simmer-
ing soul, she seems about to burst
through the screen. If only she would,
and we could give her the hug she
That task is figuratively left up to
Christopher Meloni (Chris Keller on
HBO's "Oz"), her rock of a partner, him-
self a family man with four kids, jug-
gling school visits with case calls.
"There's no crying in baseball," he cau-
tions Hargitay, who's on "thin ice" with
FHorek for her subjective behavior.
They're supported by stimulating
guest stars and gritty locations, two key
strengths of Wolfs New York-shot series.
Though Monday night's "SVU" pre-
miere starts slowly, it soon picks up
steam, as we discover secret identities,
tangled motives, red herrings. It'd spoil
the show to give away much more, but
for a while the cops aren't even sure who
the victim truly is. It's a heady start for a
series that could quickly become the
kind of keeper its predecessor has
proven to be.
Aliright. You may have
missed the mass meetings
last Tues. and Thurs.
There's one more left this
Tonight at 7:30 p.m.
Call 763-0379 if you have
,. , a
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.. . .
The Office of the Vice President for Communications
is issuing a Call for Entries for a Student Speaker at
Sunday, December 19, 1999
or in Multimedia Email.
The student speaker bach
degree from Summer rm al
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