Fastlane: The Complete Series

Fastlane: The Complete Series
In between Charlie’s Angels flicks, the man known as "McG” — with no apparent sense of irony — came out with this disastrously executed and overly inflated exercise in style over substance. It’s sort of like what V.I.P. (yes, that horrid Pamela Anderson show) would have been like with a couple million more dollars to blow every episode. Given the times and the popularity of tripe like The Fast and the Furious, mixed with the assumed bankability of a surgically enhanced Kelly Kapowski, it’s not surprising that this show was made. What is truly surprising is that it lasted an entire season. A season riddled with an endless parade of half-naked, large-breasted female criminals for Peter Facinelli and Bill Bellamy to chase down, occasionally bed and mourn over when they inevitably got shot. The central plot of the show is pretty basic: after his partner is gunned down, Donovan Ray (Peter Facinelli) teams up with Deaqon Hayes (Bill Bellamy) to infiltrate the "baddest-of-the-bad” as hipster undercover cops working for the leather-clad Billie Chambers (Tiffani Thiessen). She runs "The Candy Store,” which is essentially an underground police investigation unit that has access to all of the cars, motorcycles, helicopters and gizmos that police take from criminals. As such, the duo have an endless supply of shiny vehicles to smash up and explode as they wade through one ludicrous undercover scenario after another. Despite the occasionally inspired humour that seems entirely aware of the serious cheese factor on display, the show had a tendency to take itself too seriously, reaching for dramatic arcs and heart-tugging resolutions that, given the subject matter, were unintentionally hilarious. Granted, the show was designed specifically for pre-teen boys with a limited attention span who simply like cars and boobs but it could at least have had the dignity to remain consistently campy, especially when Tiffani Thiessen is making out with Jaime Pressley in a hot tub and the Fresh Prince’s little sister is getting her badass diamond thief on. The DVD box set includes equally shallow featurettes that are mostly recaps of all the "coolest” moments that happened throughout the series, as well as some outtakes, bloopers and behind-the-scenes footage of Muscle cars, chases and stunts, which should appeal to fans of the series. For newcomers, think Baywatch with gunfights and car chases. (Warner)