“Sugar is the new oil,” proclaimed the ads for CBS’ new series CANE, and by the end of Tuesday night’s episode, I couldn’t help thinking the network was trying darn hard to recreate one of the biggest hits in their broadcast history, DALLAS. Maybe they were inspired when the producers of the seemingly-cursed big-screen adaptation of that show cast J-Lo as Sue Ellen. Here, we get Jimmy Smits (Alex) stepping into the Bobby role, Nestor Carbonell’s Frank a JR in the making, and Rita Moreno (Amalia) filling in for Miss Ellie. Where the Ewings had a patriarch with the nickname Jock, here we get Hector Elizondo’s Pancho. The biggest problem with the pilot was how many characters and storylines were thrown into the mix in the first hour. Past vendettas, a rival family (headed by Ken Howard), ethenol, young love… you name it, CANE threw it into the mix. And for the most part, it worked, although what feels like an attempt to be all things to all people may wind up frustrating viewers who get what they came for, but feel stuck with the rest. The cast is uniformly excellent, with Eddie Matos (perhaps best known for his stint on the soap PORT CHARLES) an attention-grabbing star on the rise and Smits a commanding presence who gives the show its focal point. For now, I’ll keep watching in the hope that the show gives into its baser instincts and becomes a full-fledged guilty pleasure.
Who gets drunk and tries to pass themself off as sober… when dealing with DR. PHIL? Seriously! It’s trainwrecks like the crew currently being focused on during the current season of Man Camp that keep me coming back for more, no matter how annoyed I can sometimes get with Phil’s self-promoting (“Have you read my book Family First?”), ratings-driven schlock.
Quick, someone tell me one storyline you’re currently enjoying on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS? The death of yet another charcter we didn’t really care about (Ji Min)? The least interesting political scandal ever? InstaJew Brad? This show is going down faster than a groupie on a rock star. Which just makes it all the sweeter that THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL continues to give fired Y&R star Eileen Davidson — who brought her character, Ashley, from one soap to the other — great story. And I’d rather watch Heather Tom play Katie on B&B (lovin’ her and Thorne!) than the dreadfully boring Amelia Heinle’s take on Tom’s former Y&R character, Victoria.