Exec producer Stephen Kronish, penning a rare proletarian TV drama, creates a vigorous, absorbing half-hour story packed with emotion and quality. Surely cast , this companion piece to “Jumpin’ Joe,” which uses virtually the same creative team, “Crow’s Nest” proves a demanding, worthy look at a struggling, attractive young family; it’d be terrif to know what happens to them.
Tommy Crosetti (Billy Wirth putting the Odets-like character over the top), broke, working two jobs, married with one kid, finds out he’s flunked the scholarship for law school, his ultimate aim.
Wife Annie (Nancy Sorel in another pip of a perf) and he fight, make up and try to pay bills. Tommy’s brother Mike (John Cygan) is, like their dad was, a cop, and Tommy could get a scholarship to study law if he joins the force–over Annie’s protest.
Things happen–Tommy loses his night job; Annie, finding out she’s pregnant, is afraid to tell him; she’s robbed and mugged; Tommy loyally but foolishly runs to his brother’s aid–and life’s a struggle; viewers could care for these characters.
Wirth is dynamite as the live-wire Tommy, and Sorel’s no less convincing and agreeable.
Cygan ably interprets brother Mike, and Marilyn Lightstone as Annie’s overbearing mom is solid.
John Patterson’s assured direction sets an enegetic pace.
Production values are fine, with editing by Casey Rohrs and David Latham creative as well as pro.
John S. Barkley’s camerawork is admirable, as is Walter Murphy’s Gershwinish theme music.
“Jumpin’ Joe” and “Crow’s Nest,” designed to be seen in tandem, have quality stamped all over them.
Story of two men headed down divergent roads but bound to connect–at least one character (Paul Ben-Victor’s Patsy) and one nitery, Sally’s, surface in both pilots–indicates good, long-range storytelling.
“Crow’s Nest” and “Jumpin’ Joe” do what good drama should do: They make you care about what comes next.