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The Works

Program's concept -- a tour of Los Angeles through the eyes of pop and avant garde artists of the '60s and '90s -- sounds interesting enough. Unfortunately, for the most part, "The Works" disappoints; show, overly arty in its presentation and loaded with conflicting cliches, frequently loses its thread.

Program’s concept — a tour of Los Angeles through the eyes of pop and avant garde artists of the ’60s and ’90s — sounds interesting enough. Unfortunately, for the most part, “The Works” disappoints; show, overly arty in its presentation and loaded with conflicting cliches, frequently loses its thread.

Some sections are of interest, such as the start, with B&W and color footage depicting images of L.A. in the past and present.

The most fascinating seg is a look at Ed Ruscha’s 30-year project, a study comparing the then and now of each building along the Sunset Strip.

The artist also reflects on the Ferus Gallery, a co-operative for artists in the ’60s that formed the nucleus of the Pop Art scene by featuring works by such influential artists as Andy Warhol.

A look at fashion features model Peggy Moffitt and the work of fashion designer Rudi Gernreich, famous for his topless bathing suits.

A ’60s fashion vid displays sexy, surreal images of models dancing, with an abundance of bare skin and trippy psychedelic music.

In a look at music, ’60s surf band the Ventures is featured in a tedious 10 -minute seg performing in-studio. Later in the show, ’80s and ’90s punk/skate/surf/metal band Suicidal Tendencies is showcased.

Arrangement of these clips is out of synch: It would have made more sense to link the two bands in order to make a comparison of ’60s and ’90s surf music. “The Works” also features a performance by the Hittite Empire, who conduct highly controversial commentaries on racism. However, the sketch is far too intense and not very viewer-friendly.

Actress Mary Woronov hosts the show. Her pouting, seductive demeanor does little for the show, and her bizarreness merely distracts from her dialogue.

Essentially, the idea of the program conjures up endless intriguing possibilities, but “Works” ultimately doesn’t.

The Works

(Thurs. (17), 10-11 p.m., KCET)

  • Production: Taped by KCET. Executive producer, Ricki Franklin; producers, Bruce Yonemoto, Ed. de la Torre; associate producer, Brigitte Magar; director, Cordellia Stone; writers, Yonemoto, Melissa Toller.
  • Crew: Editors, Mary Danly, David Swofford; music, Rom Recchian.
  • Cast: Host: Mary Woronov.
  • Music By: