Known mostly for its sexy thrillers and “Wings” reruns, USA Network has a trio of top-flight, underappreciated comedies with “Duckman,””Super Dave’s Vegas Spectacular” and “Weird Science.” Each has a cult following, but nothing as big as the shows deserve.
“Science,” based on John Hughes’ 1985 film, centers on two high-school geeks (Michael Manasseri, John Mallory Asher) who have created the perfect woman, a computer-generated brains-and-beauty combo who grants their wishes. The new-season kickoff is diverting, it’s not up to the series’ usual standards.
In the script by co-producers Ed Ferrara and Kevin Murphy, Wyatt’s (Manasseri) dimwitted, sadistic brother Chett (Lee Tergesen) finally finds a girlfriend but she leaves due to his thoughtless machismo.
Lisa (the pre-fab woman) casts a magic fishing rod to find Chett’s ideal mate and the lovely Ali (Sofia Milos) shows up. Unfortunately, Lisa and the two teens discover that, as there is no woman on Earth for the oblivious Chett, the magic rod has found his perfect match in another species on another planet.
Each seg is a little morality tale, with the guys inevitably finding a huge gap between what they want and what they really need and deserve. But the lessons are painless for the audience due to the show’s speed and offbeat humor, particularly its numerous asides about pop culture. (The final gag in this episode is especially funny.)
Aside from the series’ usually witty writing, its strength is the performances by the four leads — they may push occasionally, but all are likable and funny.
Director Max Tash does smooth work. Effects by Robert D. Bailey and Joshua Hakian are good and Donna Dockstader’s casting, as always, is tops.
The work of d.p. Richard Rawlings Jr. is pro. “Weird Science” is one of an increasingly endangered species, a comedy that’s filmed rather than taped.