Monday, April 16, 2007
Cap'n Tightpants goes vroom
Dear gods of network television, please put Nathan Fillion on my TV screen every week forever and ever and ever, especially if it’s in something as good as Fox’s Drive, which debuted in a two-hour long hail of nerd bliss last night. Produced by Ben Queen and dork god Tim Minear, whose past credits include X-Files, Buffy, Angel, Firefly and Wonderfalls, this show’s pedigree promised good things and so far it's exceeded expectations with its frenetic energy and humor.
Part Cannonball Run (sadly sans Menudo soundtrack), part It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and part Lost, the show follows a group of people on a cross-country road race in search of a $32 million payoff. Some of the competitors have been coerced into competition, like Fillion’s Tully who is searching for his kidnapped wife (played by Angel’s Amy Acker) and mother Wendy whose newborn son apparently is being held hostage. Others, like a father and daughter team and an Iraq War veteran and his wife, seem to be racing just for the cash…and, of course, valuable life lessons. The cast is almost uniformly appealing, especially Fillion who is years overdue for superstardom. His pants, however, should be tighter. I’m just sayin’. Melanie Lynskey, who plays mom Wendy, is also terrific, despite freaking me out by looking way too much like Marisa Tomei.
The show’s only flaw rests in its attempts to be a bit too Lost-y for its own good. The premise is goofy enough without trying to make things too convoluted, making me wish for more racing and less plot. Then again, I am kind of a simpleton. For right now, though, I’m totally onboard for Drive. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out episode three tonight on Fox, starting at 8 EST.