Review: ‘Extreme’

The heart-stopping ski slope action of show's opening and the subsequent rescue of a downed skier-turned-hang-glider initially convey that "Extreme" will go where no show has gone before. But the excitement quickly fades and the realization that this is little more than "Melrose Place Goes Skiing" sinks in like a 250-pound skier on fresh powder.

The heart-stopping ski slope action of show’s opening and the subsequent rescue of a downed skier-turned-hang-glider initially convey that “Extreme” will go where no show has gone before. But the excitement quickly fades and the realization that this is little more than “Melrose Place Goes Skiing” sinks in like a 250-pound skier on fresh powder.

Although the second-unit work alone in this show is worth a perusal, with top-notch aerial photography and stunt work, it is probably not enough to sustain viewer interest, despite the Super Bowl lead-in.

The inane dialogue and laborious character development obfuscate the high points, making this series bow heavy with lengthy bouts of boredom punctuated by moments of high excitement.

James Brolin returns to series TV as Reese Wheeler, leader of the Steep Mountain Rescue Group, a band of adrenalin junkies who test the limits of common sense and good taste when they’re between search-and-rescue assignments.

Seg kicks into action with the introduction of a new member to the team, Kyle Hansen (Cameron Bancroft), the son of an Olympic teammate of Brolin’s who also has some heavy emotional baggage to carry. But his constant moaning about his ability to do the job — based on his guilt about the death of his fiancee — grows tiresome.

With the addition of two attractive team members — Sarah Bowen (Brooke Langton), a rich girl on the run from her origins, and a bubbly local, Andie McDermott (Julie Bowen), who yearns for the big city and medical school — the ensemble cast mirrors the residents of the suburb in which it takes place.

Hot-shot skier Lance Monroe (Justin Lazard), who tries to scheme his way into the big time via product endorsements and film roles, adds to the show the required doses of arrogance and testosterone.

Brolin is smooth and reassuring, despite being given some preposterously hokey lines, and ably serves as the perfect calming influence over his rough-around-the-edges compatriots.

Director Anthony Hickox ekes believable, albeit at times whiny, perfs from his young cast as he teams with director of photography Stephen Ramsey and editors John Refoua and Anita Brandt-Burgoyne to offer pulse-raising action sequences backdropped by the region’s remarkable landscape.

Extreme

Sun. (29), 7-8 p.m., ABC

Production

Filmed in Park City, Utah, by Extreme Prods. and Alan Barnette Prods. in association with MCA Universal TV. Executive producer, Alan Barnette; co-executive producer, Tom Chehak; producers, Mychelle Deschamps, Ron Booth, Didier LaFond; supervising producer, Walter Klenhard; director, Anthony Hickox; writers, Robert Wolterstorff, Mike Scott; director of photography, Stephen Ramsey; production designer, Bill Malley.

Crew

Editors, John Refoua, Anita Brandt-Burgoyne; sound, Steve Laneri; music, Phil Ramone, Patrick Williams.

Cast

Cast: James Brolin, Cameron Bancroft, Brooke Langton, Justin Lazard, Julie Bowen, Tom Wright, Micah Dyer, Danny Masterson, Patrick Charbonneau, Zach Galligan.
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