The Pretender: Season One

So, this spandex-clad hottie gets off a helicopter onto a boat. She's smoking. Someone says, "No smoking, this ship's cargo is explosive." And the hottie says, "So am I." Such is the standard of writing on The Pretender, a frontrunner for the worst show of the '90s that isn't Baywatch. Michael T. Weiss plays Jarod, a super-genius who was locked away in a think-tank as a child. After the tank keepers use his intelligence for nefarious purposes, he bolts and roams the countryside assuming identities so that he might right wrongs instead of assist them. It's strange how he can do this, as he's been so isolated from the real world that he can't even identify Silly Putty, but people seem to believe him utterly, unlike me. Thus he gets into adventures so wholesome and credulity-straining that you half-expect to see Lillian Gish in digitally-inserted cameos. Residual tension comes in the form of Sydney (Patrick Bachau), Jarod's old major-domo and failed father-figure, and Ms. Parker (Andrea Parker), the aforementioned femme fatale, who always seem close to catching the hero and are always outsmarted in the nick of blah, blah, blah. It's sort of The Littlest Hobo meets The X-Files with a genius instead of a German Shepherd. Twenty-one episodes left me a broken and damaged person, though incredibly it has a strong following that sustained it through four seasons. Extras include three largely superficial "making of" featurettes and two commentaries with creators Steven Long Mitchell and Craig W. Van Sickle. The one on the pilot episode is sparse and full of banalities about the obvious cliché "touches" and the one on the season finale includes supporting cast member Jon Gries and director Fred K. Keller in bad jokes and trivial information. (Fox)