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.