CBS-TV's "Now and Again" is the best pilot of the new fall season. 

Super-Agent Man

Hands down, the best pilot episode of the new fall season was CBS-TV's "Now and Again," a quirky comedy/action/drama/romance airing Fridays at 9 p.m. "Moonlighting" creator Glenn Gordon Caron wrote and directed the debut episode of "Now and Again," which featured guest star John Goodman as honest insurance executive Michael Wiseman, who is accidentally killed when he falls in front of a moving subway. Government agents take Michael's brain and put it in a new, genetically-engineered body (Eric Close) with the intention of creating a super-agent to fight crime and evil. The funniest 10 minutes of the new season comes in a hospital room when the former Michael's brain wakes up in the new Michael's body, while project director Dr. Theodore Morris and his colleagues watch from behind a one-way mirror. To the strains of "Close To You" sung off-key and complete with Martha Reeves hand gestures by Dr. Morris (Dennis Haysbert), the camera turns almost pornographic as Michael explores his new torso and peeks down into his boxer shorts. Haysbert ("Queen" and "Lonesome Dove") has all the great lines: "Call it mother's intuition, but I think our boy's about to check his package." When the new, buff Michael sees what he's got, his shock is absolute: "Holy Crap!" "Damn right," says Morris. "Made in America, baby. Made in America!" And "Close To You," now in full chorus, swells with pride. Haysbert's characterization of Dr. Morris is brilliant — a combination of menace and risibility. Close is excellent as he discovers the joys of a perfect body and the fullness of youth — while simultaneously mourning the loss of his old body and, consequently, the family that still grieves over his death. The one question about the series is whether it can maintain the dramatic energy and comic styling of the first episode. Now that the new Michael has a handle on his assignment, he's pursuing an elderly Chinese terrorist who's already attacked Tokyo and Paris with hen eggs containing a nerve gas that makes people bleed from the eyes and die. Now the terrorist is taking on the U.S.A. If writer/director Caron can keep "Now and Again" on that narrow track between laughter and suspense, he'll have a major hit that will make CBS — and the show's audience — very


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

  • Re: Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe: "Take Down These Monuments."

    • The statues should all go to the Museum of the Confederacy for part of their…

    • on August 16, 2017
  • Re: PHOTOS: Monument Avenue Commission Meeting Brings Out Heated Discourse in Richmond

    • I'm willing to bet that the neo-Confederates in these pictures (and comments) aren't actual residents…

    • on August 15, 2017
  • Re: Faith and Elected Leaders Gather for Solidarity Rally in Richmond Following Violence in Charlottesville

    • This is the kind of demonstration that should have taken place in Charlottesville, not bricks,…

    • on August 14, 2017
  • More »
  • Latest in Miscellany

    More by Don Dale

    • Sense of Justice

      Sense of Justice

      Why, we jurors wondered, did the rules allow us to have so much information while leaving such bewildering gaps?
      • Mar 2, 2005
    • Late-Night Perfection

      Late-Night Perfection

      Remembering Johnny Carson
      • Feb 2, 2005
    • What to Watch

      What to Watch

      The networks make a comeback this season.
      • Dec 29, 2004
    • More »

    Copyright © 2017 Style Weekly
    Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
    All rights reserved
    Powered by Foundation