Review: ‘Last Call’

Emerging from a steamy cloud of promissory hype --"Shredding the day's news, ""Sort of a 'Cliff Notes' on our daily existence"-- MCA's "Last Call" boils down to a gathering of hip conversationalists purveying carefully groomed spontaneity around a table.

Emerging from a steamy cloud of promissory hype –“Shredding the day’s news, “”Sort of a ‘Cliff Notes’ on our daily existence”– MCA’s “Last Call” boils down to a gathering of hip conversationalists purveying carefully groomed spontaneity around a table. Their sincerity is enhanced by lots of dizzy-making handheld camerawork, and relevance to the day’s news or daily existence is minimal.

New series, airing Monday through Friday, is syndicated to 110 stations. “TV as fresh as today’s headlines,” proclaims the handout from executive producer Brandon Tartikoff, chairman of New World Television.

In dubious support, the premiere program offered nine minutes of panelist Tad Low’s attempts to crash last week’s MTV awards (with camera crew in tow), another eight minutes with NewYork Mets relief pitcher John Franco tinkering with the studio equipment while expounding on his refusal to take a shower until the baseball strike is settled, and a final five with actress/writer Brianne Leary prowling New York streets (again with camera crew) to prove the difficulty of getting a date.

At the end of the first segment panelist Sue Ellicott held out the “faint chance that we might get better.” There’s plenty of room.

Last Call

Mon. (12), 10:30-11 p.m., KCOP

Production

Taped in New York by New World Television and MCA-TV. Executive producers, Brandon Tartikoff, Edward R. Horwitz; supervising producer, Tom Seligson; coordinating producer, Georgia Pappas; segment producers, Jonathan David, Jason Goodman, David Rizzotto, Katie Rubacky, Woody Thompson; director, Mark Gentile.

Crew

Camera, Russ Fortier, Jonathan Nichols, Ruth Novick, Michael Piccola, Thomas Ucciferri; executive consultant, Scott Kaufer; music, Marc Liepis.

Cast

With: Sue Ellicott, Brianne Leary, Tad Low, Terry McDonell, Elvis Mitchell, John Franco.

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