FOX (Tuesdays, 9 p.m. ET)
You’re James Cameron, you’re king of the world. Three years ago you directed Titanic, the highest-grossing movie in history. So how do you top yourself? Well, not by executive-producing this dreary, derivative sci-fi series. Set in Seattle in. 2019 after a terrorist thermonuclear blast has somehow plunged the U.S. into another depression, Dark Angel focuses on an unlikely heroine named Max (Jessica Alba). Bike messenger by day, cat burglar by night, Max never seems to need any sleep. Possibly that’s because she’s a genetically enhanced superwoman, a fugitive from a top-secret lab who’s being hunted by its ruthless security officer (John Savage). Meanwhile, a crusading cyber journalist (Michael Weatherly) wants to turn this Dark Angel into a futuristic Charlie’s Angel and help him bring down a corrupt drug tycoon. Seems that among Max’s other gifts, she’s faster than a speeding bullet, able to leap from tall buildings unharmed and can memorize phone numbers just by hearing them speed-dialed. Such silliness might be palatable if Alba (Never Been Kissed) were more than the sum of her svelte, zippered bodysuits. Instead she pouts throughout, speaking in a Valley Girl drone. FOX has scheduled the two-hour pilot opposite the Oct. 10 presidential debate. But after 10 minutes of Angel, you might vote with your remote and tune in Bush-Gore.
Bottom Line: Iceberg dead ahead!