Melrose Place

From the season opener, it

With:
Cast: Josie Bissett, Thomas Calabro, Doug Savant, Grant Show, Andrew Shue, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Daphne Zuniga, Heather Locklear, Marcia Cross, William Moses, Willie Carpenter, Sterling David, Heather Elizabeth Parkhurst, Lisa Mitchell, Richard Molnar.

From the season opener, it

looks like ratings- and male-blood-pressure-raiser Amanda (Heather Locklear) is ensconced in “Melrose Place.”

Locklear should do more than attract male viewers hoping to see her do a lot of poolside lounging: Since everyone else is so earnest, Amanda’s bitchy ruthlessness should help to spice things up and keep everyone — including the writers — on their toes.

For the season opener, Charles Pratt Jr.’s script and Nancy Malone’s direction are fine, but show should be careful not to get too dreary. It could become “twentysomething” if things don’t lighten up a bit.

Last season ended with the newly unpregnant Amanda announcing that Daddy had bought her the building the whole gang lives in. Well, not quite the whole gang. Philanderer/doctor Michael (Thomas Calabro) has been kicked out by betrayed wife Jane (Josie Bissett), so the roving resident has taken up residence with paramour Kimberly (Marcia Cross), the poster child for Women Who Love Too Much.

Also missing is Rhonda (Vanessa Williams). She’s out for good, with the reason given that the show didn’t know where to go with her character.

Writers seem equally bereft of ideas for Matt (Doug Savant), who has little more than a cameo here. Fox deserves credit for putting a gay character in a primetime show; let’s see if it elevates him beyond token status.

Weakest plot thread is Keith’s (William Moses) campaign of terror against ex Alison (Courtney Thorne-Smith), but she seems to be developing a drinking problem. That should provide for plenty of turmoil and let Fox show how socially conscious it is.

Melrose Place

(Wed. (8), 9-10 p.m. FBC)

Production: Filmed at Santa Clarita Studios by Darren Starr Prods. in association with Spelling Television Inc. Exec producers, Darren Starr, Aaron Spelling, E. Duke Vincent; co-exec producer, Frank South; producer, Chip Hayes; director, Nancy Malone; writer, Charles Pratt Jr..

Crew: Camera, Michel Hugo; editor, Kurt Bullinger; art director, Cameron Birnie; sound, Forrest Williams; music, Tim Truman.

Cast: Cast: Josie Bissett, Thomas Calabro, Doug Savant, Grant Show, Andrew Shue, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Daphne Zuniga, Heather Locklear, Marcia Cross, William Moses, Willie Carpenter, Sterling David, Heather Elizabeth Parkhurst, Lisa Mitchell, Richard Molnar.

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