25 September 2003 | Eric-1226
Night-time soap opera set in a nonexistent New Hampshire
This show, judging by the pilot episode which I just saw tonight, has limited promise. It seems like a night-time soap opera set in a New Hampshire/New England setting that I don't really believe exists.
Though I'm not a native of New England, I used to live in Maine, not too far from New Hampshire, so perhaps allow me to make some qualified observations nevertheless: I just didn't get a New England "feel" to this show, I just don't "recognize" any of these characters as being truly New Englander types. Sure, they can doll them up in LL Bean attire until the cows come home, but that in itself a New Englander does not make.
I think the show runs the risk of bombing because it brings too much of a Hollywood/California frame of mind to a New England setting. The men in this show seem way too giddy for real New Englanders, and all seem WAY too preoccupied with their personal "issues"; the women seem more like annoying busy-bodies from some rich enclave of Sausalito, California; the kids - at least those that have appeared so far - seem more like big city high school kids in Los Angeles dealing with image problems and the like, etc. These are not the New Englanders that I remember from oh, twenty or so years ago when I used to live in that glorious part of America. Have times really changed that much? I thinketh not.
One positive about the show is the incredible depth of the cast. Randy Quaid, Mare Winningham and Elizabeth McGovern just to name a few. I like these actors a lot, and hope the show really works for them, but the writing and the whole "atmoshpere" of the show really needs some work.
If this show develops further, I hope it loses some of the soap opera feel. Just a thought, but it would be kinda' cool (for me anyway) if the show took a sort of David Lynch/Twin Peaks detour and got rather twisty. New England lends itself to that. It can be very twisty there. Very twisty indeed. ("Ya can't get there from here" - Bert and I).