Filmed in Valencia, Calif., by Latham/Lechowick Prods. Exec producers/writers/creators, Lynn Maria Latham, Bernard Lechowick; producer, Phillips Wylly Sr.; co-producer, Deborah Norton; director, Sharron Miller; Two-hour pilot for new series about overly glandular folks in a fictional California burg called Santa Rita displays how three women suffer, brush themselves off and hit the bricks again. The soaper, set to play 10-11 p.m. Thursdays, with five morehours ordered, suffers from blatant, uninvolving characters, low-caliber plotting and subcommercial appeal.
Created by Lynn Marie Latham and Bernard Lechowick, producers of “Homefront, “”Second Chances” needs more riveting material than what writers Latham and Lechowick have dished up so far. The hook is a corpse partially shown in a woman’s digs early on in the vidpic. The storyline folds back two weeks to intro the cardboard people and set up the interlocking stories.
Dianne (Connie Sellecca), younger sister Kate (Megan Follows) and Melinda Lopez (Jennifer Lopez) suffer with each other. Kate’s boyfriend dumps her after she put him through med school; public defender Dianne, married to a bum (Erich Anderson) and running for office against an entrenched municipal judge, bumps into former love, ex-con Mike (Matt Salinger); Melinda’s fiance, Kevin (Justin Lazard), works for Dianne as a law student.
Matt, threaded through the plot like a dull needle, keeps viewers abreast of what he’s doing by writing notes to a pal back in the pokey. He’s not too swift, since he spends days looking for a job and, when he gets work as a mechanic, promptly forgets and starts chauffeuring for Kate and her how-to-party business.
Before the wedding, Latina Melinda hears her pop (Pepe Serna) lament about Anglo Kevin, while Kevin hears his parents (Frances Lee Mahin, Ronny Cox) trashing Chicanos.
Thesping all along the board is as unsubtle as the compressed plotting, and Sharron Miller’s direction shows no distinction.
Just whom the corpse belongs to isn’t much of a surprise when the truth comes out at the end of the pilot, and the matter of who done the character in doesn’t seem important. The people of Santa Rita, about to be involved in a murder investigation, will undoubtedly continue to ricochet between high and low without much conviction. Or viewers.