Surprisingly witty sitcom based on a so-so feature offers offbeat characters with dimension and lunacy, a beaut of a brainy Galatea and light action that could fall on its face before its protracted 13 episodes. But now, based on the entry chapter, "Weird Science" has been brought to life.

Surprisingly witty sitcom based on a so-so feature offers offbeat characters with dimension and lunacy, a beaut of a brainy Galatea and light action that could fall on its face before its protracted 13 episodes. But now, based on the entry chapter, “Weird Science” has been brought to life.

Two teenage boys, unable to stand on their own two feet anywhere except near their computer, make a stab at creating their idea of the perfect woman by feeding their specifications into the terminal and producing a PC genie, Lisa (Vanessa Angel).

Gary (John Mallory Asher), the fair-haired boy with libido problems, and Wyatt (Michael Manasseri), the dark-haired, nerdish straight thinker, step back and let her make the decisions.

Of course, there’s the rub. If they’re creating a goddess for themselves, how come they rustle up one who’s not for them?

She likes them in an older-sister fashion, and she’ll help them achieve what they want (within taste): She beautifully manipulates two coeds Gary and Wyatt are pursuing. And Lisa’ll handle Wyatt’s older, bullying brother, Chett (Lee Tergesen).

Hardly great comedy, program still has spirit and Asher and Manasseri, who are good, developing comedians. Special effects range from quick-change tricks to slithering electric jolts, but nothing’s serious.

Max Tash’s direction cuts to the comic quick, and if the production looks constrained, it’s blessed with a homey, backlot look. Sitcom also uses clips from Universal’s early “Bride of Frankenstein” to underscore farce.

Mystery is why USA waits until so late at night to play off its amusing, basically innocent comedy.

But so far, ‘Weird Science” passes the tests.

Weird Science She's Alive

(Sat. (5), 10-10:30 p.m., USA)

Production

Filmed at Universal Studios by St. Clare Entertainment and Universal TV. Executive producers, John Landis, Robert K. Weiss, Leslie Belzberg; supervising producers/writers, Alan Cross, Tom Spezialy; producer, Robert Lloyd Lewis; director, Max Tash; developed for TV by Cross, Spezialy, based on the 1985 Universal release "Weird Science".

Crew

Camera, Paul Maibaum; editor, Stu Bass; production designer, Bill Eigenbrodt; sound, Ron Collins; music, Dennis McCarthy.

Cast

Cast: Vanessa Angel, John Mallory Asher, Michael Manasseri, Richard Fancy, Melendy Britt, Elmarie Wendel, Chad Cox, Robert Feeney, Carrie Stevens, Christy Taylor, Lee Tergesen.

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