Picks and Pans Review: Going to Extremes
ABC (Tuesdays, 10 P.M. ET)
From the makers of Northern Exposure comes this show about American students at a less than reputable medical school on the apocryphal Caribbean island of Jantique (actually the show is filmed in Jamaica). The series aims for the same quizzical drama-comedy mix as NoEx, with a bunch of fussy type-A personalities way out of their element, trying to adjust to Third World privations and to the natives’ relaxed “no problem, mon” attitude.
Life on Jantique, as it turns out, is not as poignant, droll or charmed as it is in Cicely, Alaska. But creators Joshua Brand and John Falsey have a definite knack for creating distinctive characters and colliding them with one another. In this case the faculty, played by Charles Keating, Carl Lumbly, June Chadwick and Roy Dotrice, is appreciably more interesting than the one-dimensional students (Daniel Jenkins, Joanna Going, Robert Duncan McNeill, Andrew Lauer, Camilo Gallardo and Erika Alexander).
It took a while for Northern Exposure to hit its jaunty stride, so maybe this show will develop over time. It will certainly get the opportunity, seeing as how it has a coveted slot, batting cleanup for ABC’s Tuesday night murderer’s row.