October 25, 1999 12:00 PM

The WB (Thursdays, 8 p.m. ET)

This hour-long comedy-drama concerns two cliques at suburban Kennedy High School: the vampires and the space aliens. No, wait. I’m thinking of other WB teen shows. The one under consideration pits the “popular” group, exemplified by beautiful cheerleader Brooke (Leslie Bibb), against the nonconformists, led by beautiful aspiring journalist Sam (Carly Pope). That’s right—they’re equally attractive. But Sam’s not a blonde, and apparently that makes her some sort of underdog. Anyway, Brooke and Sam have a really tense, complicated relationship. Sam is secretly in love with Brooke’s boyfriend, Josh (Bryce Johnson), star of football and musical theater. Sam’s close friend Harrison (Christopher Gorham) is crazy about Brooke. And now Sam’s mother and Brooke’s father are an item.

Popular makes valid points about the unfairness of social stratification. But with its gimmicky camera work (whoa, we’re on fast-forward) and flights of surrealism (talking frog in bio lab), it tries too hard to be hip. Which is kind of a high school thing to do.

Bottom Line: Borderline students

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