South Beach

Kate Patrick (Yancy Butler) is a femme con artist so slick she proudly states over and over she doesn't need or want a gun, but of course ends up using one.

Kate Patrick (Yancy Butler) is a femme con artist so slick she proudly states over and over she doesn’t need or want a gun, but of course ends up using one.

Working the rich of South Beach, Fla., Patrick and her partner, Vernon (Eagle-Eye Cherry), find their operation rudely interrupted by the arrival of Patrick’s brother (Rob Knepper), who’s in the midst of double-crossing a federal agent (John Glover) and the Russian government out of millions in diamonds.

Faced with ultimatum of death for her brother or jail for her, Patrick teams with the agent and they retrieve the diamonds while arresting a few comrades along the way. It works so well secret-agent man offers lovely con woman a permanent job being a sneak. Thus a series is born.

As a two-hour movie “South Beach” squeaks by.

Butler is as fresh a face as the small screen has seen in a while, and Glover is a truly creepy fed, jovial but always scheming. Felix Enriquez Alcala’s camera work and John Mark Harrington’s production design offer a pleasant eyeful.

But pace of vidpic is slow, script sags and plot in pilot is a stretch that comes to an end all to easily. Maybe one-hour timeslot will keep octane level high.

At times Butler is used more like a model than an actress. She seems right for the loner woman part, but more spontaneous action and less staging of pretty shots would loosen production up, giving it more grit and ruggedness.

South Beach

(Sun. (6), 9-11 p.m., NBC)

  • Production: Filmed in Los Angeles and Florida by Wolf Films in association with Universal Television. Executive producers, Robert DeLaurentis, Dick Wolf; producers, Brooke Kennedy, Monica Wyatt; supervising producers, Glenn Davis, William Laurin; director, David Carson; writers, DeLaurentis, Davis, Laurin.
  • Crew: Camera, Felix Enriquez Alcala; editor, Kevin Krasny; production designer, John Mark Harrington; sound, Henri Lopez; music, Mark Green.
  • Cast: Cast: Yancy Butler, Patti D'Arbanville, John Glover, Christopher Bowen, Rob Knepper, Sebastian Roche, Gary Hope, Wendee Pratt, Jay Rasumny, Eagle-Eye Cherry , Tony Guzman, Gabrielle Ange, Victoria Bass, Ginny Wood Carroll, Gregory Clark, Francesca Cruz, Peter Paul da Leo, Ilse Earl, Jon E. Matchen, Peter Milanovich, Barrie W. Mizerski, Brett Murray, Linda Perri, Sally Ricca, Chuck Seubert, Monte St. James. With the summer come summer pilots and series, most of which are network rejects now resurrected to give re-runs a vacation. And summer's a fitting time for NBC to bow "South Beach," a sharp-looking "Miami Vice" wannabe fueled by setting suns, flashy cars and a shortage of ugly people. Pilot has trouble making it to the bell and by fall, skein should be completely out of gas.
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