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Thu, Mar 30, 2017 05:30 PM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
2003-06-06 life & times
'Keen Eddie' a rarity
A summer replacement with good acting
Cletus Turner
Talk about your journeymen. Keen Eddie was first unveiled last summer to critics and aired its first episode this week on FOX. It was given the plum spot right after American Juniors. Normally, this spot has been occupied by 24. Both Eddie and 24 are dramas, but that is where the similarity ends.

Eddie is the story of Eddie Arlette, played by Mark Valley, a New York City cop who has just been dumped by his girlfriend and is responsible for a drug bust gone bad. He is ordered to go to London to get him out of the situation and to let him pick up the pieces of his life. Things go from bad to worse as he gets food poisoning on the plane and when he gets to London, he discovers the apartment he has rented already has a tenant-the daughter of the landlord, Fiona, played by Sienna Miller.

Fiona happens to have a cat and Eddie has a dog, which doesn't make things any better. Eddie also discovers he has the wrong suitcase. He just knows things couldn't be worse.

Wrong. He meets his new partner, Monty Pippin, played by Julian Rhind-Tutt of Tomb Raider, who seems like a very conservative gentleman. Eddie thinks they have nothing in common. He's right. Eddie soon finds out that Monty pretends to be married so that he will be invited to spouse-swapping parties.

This is the classic "fish out of water" story. Eddie has to adjust to his new life while getting used to the ways and manners of people in a foreign country. No one is more surprised than Eddie when Agent Johnson of Scotland Yard, played by Colin Salmon, offers Eddie a permanent job with the Yard.

The actors are really very good. It isn't often that you find good actors on summer replacements. Yet, here we have a whole cast that is pretty good. Valley is the only American actor of the bunch and he bites into the material with gusto. His banter with Miller harks back to the old Moonlighting days when Maddie and David were heating up the airwaves. This can only mean a "will they or won't they" ride of whether the two will become more than just roommates.

My only real complaint about the whole thing is that there are no chances taken by anyone. Yes, Monty goes to spouse-swapping parties, but that is really something that is for shock value. You can swing stories from that hook, but only for so long. Plus, the "fish out of water" routine has been done to death, though usually with someone from another country coming here and trying to adjust. I think the best thing the show could do is cast another actress as Eddie's ex and have her come to England only to fall head-over-heels in love with Monty or even Agent Johnson. Can you imagine having your ex in love with a co-worker you have to see every day? Now that would be drama. By the way, that sort of thing does happen.

The story's premise has plenty of potential. Now we just have to wait and see if the producers, Joel Wyner and Simon West can keep us interested.

3 suns

Notes from the couch:

Six Feet Under certainly ended with a whimper. The season finale let us finally know that Nate's wife Lisa, played by Lili Taylor, was dead. Although the show had been building up to the big revelation, we already knew she was dead. Nate, played by Peter Krause, is now in turmoil and went straight to - ex-girlfriend Brenda, played by Rachel Griffiths. I felt a little cheated and disappointed.

Speaking of finales, did anyone else feel let down after the Friends finale. By the time the supposed big twist came, I felt like, what am I saying, I fell asleep during the show and had to watch a tape recording of it. Luckily, my cousin kept it for me and I was able to see what I missed. Yawn.

Law and Order just keeps plugging away in three different forms. The show and its two spinoffs are in the top 20 consistently week after week. It is because of the the good writing and fabulous acting the original show has been on for over 10 years now.

CSI looks to be able to do the same. The series and its spinoff are consistently in the top 10. Several people I know talk about the fact that they watch Friends at 8 p.m. and CSI at 9 p.m. on Thursdays. That could be the reason both shows continually vie for the top show on television every week.

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