11 August 2001 | Victor Field
Makes "Cleopatra 2525" seem like "Lou Grant."
It's a nice change to have the US double for another country as opposed to the other way around ("Sheena" is set in Africa but filmed in Florida), but apart from that and the reassuring fact that '80s action veteran Babs Greyhosky ("The A-Team") is still working, there's not really much to say about this. While I can't argue with the ITV2 continuity announcer who said of Gena Lee Nolin "She's excellent late-night inspiration," this is the only thing about the show that is excellent - she won't be giving Sela Ward any competition at Emmy time, and seems far more likely to be on the beach or in "FHM" (and she has) than in the wilds of Flo... Africa.
But it's not all her fault - the "Baywatch" influence on the show is so strong thanks to her and fellow Malibu refugees John Allen Nelson and executive producer Douglas Schwartz that it couldn't help sinking to that show's level, despite the presence of people from more entertaining shows such as Steven L. Sears from "Xena: Warrior Princess" (before it jumped the shark) and Bill Taub from "Relic Hunter." There's also something insulting about having most of the African characters be living as if they stepped out of "National Geographic," and the special effects don't pass muster either.
Gena's career has some interesting parallels to that of Tanya Roberts. Besides both having played Sheena, they've both been on famously tacky TV shows (Tanya was on the last season of "Charlie's Angels") and they've both done revealing spreads in men's magazines. Tanya has at least managed to get something decent on her CV in the form of "That '70s Show," so there's hope for Gena yet...