September 18, 2002
Superficial touches don't lead
to much life in the 'Fastlane'
By Katie Marie Gates
For the Daily
Attempting to appeal to lovers of the blockbuster hit
"The Fast and The Furious," "Fastlane," created by
McG ("Charlie's Angels") and John McNamera ("Lois
and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman"), fee-
bly displays the undercover endeavors of three self-
proclaimed police officers in Hollywood.
The pilot begins with a racing scene. A good-look-
ing guy is driving around a track. Sitting
beside him is a mischievously attractive
woman with a gun to his neck. She pro-
ceeds to stick her hands down his pants in
a very sexually suggestive search for a FAS'
wire but is unsuccessful. The young man
agrees to purchase the race-car for a large Wednesd
sum of money.
Intermitten flashbacks reveal that he is,
in fact, a cop, wired earlier by his partner.
As the transaction takes place, the partner is shot
handing over the money. The woman disappears with
the cash, leaving a distraught leading man and a dead
body. A car chase follows, making it evident that driv-
ing cars is a crucial part of the sad plotline.
Thus, the program continues in a confusing and
bizarre fashion. One who is looking for the next
"NYPD Blue," "Nash Bridges" or "New York Under-
cover" should not turn to this unconventional cop
drama airing on FOX this fall.
Don't expect to see Van Ray, (Peter Facinelli, "The
Scorpion King," "Riding in Cars with Boys"), the Tom
Cruise wannabe leading man, or his new not so witty
partner, Deaqon Hayes (Bill Bellamy, "Love Jones,"
"Any Given Sunday") wearing a uniform or flashing a
Tiffany Thiessen also appears as the hard-hitting Lt.
Billie Chambers, who becomes the leader of these
undercover cops by her acquisition of confiscated
unending pristine vintage cars, motorcycles and
money she deems "the candy store." She takes Van
under her wing along with Deaqon, an NYPD cop and
brother of Van's previous partner, determined to
avenge the murder.
The poorly written and even more poorly depicted
characters (another reminder that Thiessen should
have retired after "Saved by the Bell") set out on a
case, if one could call it that, which is quite undefined
The audience learns that the race-car
from the opening scene was actiually
stolen and the subsequent plot revolves
LANE mainly around money.
There is a bad guy, of course, (Craig
s at 9 p.m. Sheffer, "Family Law") and the sexy girl
he uses as a pawn in an attempt to outwit
X the cops. The two meet frequently on a
beach to exchange briefcases, further dis-
crediting the plotline, almost as if mocking an incredi-
bly bad drama.
Random scenes resembling music videos, graphic
sex interludes, unnecessary action shots and the brief
background appearance of rap rocker Fred Durst soon
The situations are clich6, and at times, just bizarre,
redeemed only slightly by interesting filming with
"Matrix" type slow motion and Guy Ritchie style 360-
degree camera moves.
Students would be better off spending an hour
studying or staring at the wall then waste time with
this superficial drama.
The pilot episode of "Fastlane" stirs little desire for
viewers to tune in next week, but if you're looking for
something good to laugh at, check out the show
Wednesday on FOX, but make it fast, the cheesy cop
drama won't be around for long.
Courtesy of FOX
How exactly did "Barbershop" make so much money?
Ceic the En'hardly
proves to be a king of comedy
By Douglas Wernert
For the Daily
ridiculous movements. He gives an
uninspired SNL-esque monologue,
and then it's on to the skits.
Take the first one: A smooth playa
(Cedric) on a date with a girl who
proceeds to run into his hood-bred
Let's try and cook up a new show,
all right? First, take "Saturday Night
Live" skits and add the flare from
the cast of "Mad TV". Now throw in
an original king of comedy, and you
have "Cedric the Entertainer Pre-
sents," a new variety show on Fox
which features, you guessed it, the
big lovable comedian Cedric and his
cast of three other aspiring stars
(Amy Brassette, Shaun Majumber
and Wendy Raquel Robinson). It
sounds like must see TV, but then
something goes terribly wrong: the
Cedric calls his extravaganza an
"old-school variety show." Well, he
got that part right. The skits look like
rejects, or at least rip-offs, of old
The Sensation Dancers start off the
program with their gyrating move-
ment and then the man of the hour
(or maybe half-hour), Cedric, makes
his appearance and proceeds to injure
all the female rump-shakers with his
ex-girlfriend who, after a few stereo-
typical lines (i.e. she
went to the movies to a
see Snoop Doggy Dogg
and Ice Cube in "Dead- *k
er Than a Mug") ends
up fighting with the CEDR
other girl -while a ENTEI
stunned Cedric, who PREc
looks like he doesn't
even belong in the Wedni
scene, proclaims to 8:3C
them "This is better I
than the movie."
Skits featuring a golf
announcer sweating bullets and a
gagging man applying for a job also
fall by the wayside. However, two
sketches are tolerable, the first being
Mrs. Cafeteria Lady (Cedric) who
insults her students and personifies
herself with various objects to show
her attitude ("I'm a cup of coffee. I'm
hot, black and strong").
The next features the Love Doctor
(Cedric again), a suave Barry White-
style therapist type who encourages
everyone to "get their love on." Brief
dance interludes and boring black-
,and-white behind the scenes footage
cap off the production.
If you're sitting
around some Wednes-
day night, waiting for
"The West Wing" or
THE some other show to
'AINER start, "Cedric the
ANTS Entertainer Presents"
may be a good distrac-
days at tion. Unfortunately,
p.m. watching Cedricmade
X out to be the star in
these condensed, unde-
veloped skits when the
diamond in the rough is the support-
ing cast may cause you to start chan-
A quote from Cedric from his
Bud Light commercial fame sums
up his project best: "It's not that
bad." Unfortunately, it's not that
Courtesy of FOX
The stars of "Fastiane" think they're pretty sweet. We don't.
* PBS airs
By Ryan Blay
Daily TV/New Media Editor
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