By
April 08, 1991 12:00 PM

A&E (Mondays, 10 P.M. ET)

B

In an offbeat limited series, Tony Peck, Gregory’s son, plays a ’30s detective who only works for big-name authors slumming in Tinseltown—clients like Hemingway and Faulkner. In the premiere Ian Buchanan plays F. Scott Fitzgerald in trouble with a studio boss.

Who cares that the St. Paul-born Scotty speaks with a Scottish burr? This video fantasy doesn’t skew toward realism. The look is stylishly chintzy; the writing ridiculously florid. Consider this clunky confessional dialogue between Buchanan’s besotted Fitzgerald and Peck’s gumshoe: “The new script…I’m not sure I wrote it.”

“Excuse me?”

“Well, you see, the last few weeks—they’ve been rather a haze of protracted revelry.”

“A binge!”

“Apparently.”

“So between highballs the muse guided your hand.”

The casting is a kick. In the debut Peck’s sister Cecilia shows up in several dream sequences. Subsequent episodes (there are six in all) feature Marisa Berenson as Dorothy Parker, and model Cheryl Tiegs—Peck’s real-life bride—as a kinky bar girl. Juggling such an abundance of genres—detective, Hollywood, literary lions and Depression era—the show is impossibly jumbled and silly. Also oddly irresistible.

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