August 20, 2001 12:00 PM

The WB (Tuesdays, 9 p.m. ET)

Boy, here’s a series that’s begging for trouble. The title is Dead Last, easily amended to Dead Stinkin’ Last by mean-spirited critics. And it’s about a fictional rock band called The Problem. Let’s see: I’ve watched two episodes of this show, and it has a major, insoluble Problem….

In fact, the hour-long comedy (premiering Aug. 14) isn’t all bad—if you can accept the desperately far-fetched premise for more than five minutes. Scotty (Tyler Labine), The Problem’s goofy drummer, blunders into possession of an ancient amulet that enables the band members to see dead people. With this vision enhancement comes an obligation to help ghosts calm their troubled souls and move on to the next world. Guitarist-singer Vaughn (Kett Turton) and bassist Jane (Sara Downing), who have a sexual-tension thing going, make noises about placing music above extrasensory perception. But there’s little aural evidence that The Problem’s art is worth pursuing. Besides, the only reason to sample this show is to catch Labine’s bull-in-a-china-shop antics, which are on ample display in a future episode when Scotty impersonates a recently murdered “Eurotrash” prince. Dead Last doesn’t figure to wear well, but give it a try before you bury it.

Bottom Line: Occasional signs of life

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