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TV websites

TV websites–We grade the Net representation of Tom Green, Daria, ”The Golden Girls” and more

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TV websites

The Golden Girls Online (http://members.xoom.com/jonathow)
College student Jonathan Owens’ simple homage to one of the guiltiest of cult pleasures — the 1985-92 NBC comedy — has undergone a moderately successful face-lift, though what it lacks in design it makes up for in navigability (a silent blessing when dealing with a fan site). The sound page is filled with plenty of cheesecakey Blanche sex quotes, campy duets (”I Got You Babe,” ”She Loves You”), and pockets of Rose’s bubbleheadedness (”In St. Olaf…”). There’s even a theme song page (the video section is another story, with one paltry QuickTime clip). Though the text-heavy site hints at well-roundedness with extensive bios and photos, as a solid effort it retires a little too early. B

TLC-The Learning Channel
This straightforward Web extension of Discovery.com is home to a paradoxical melange of guilty pleasures (A Wedding Story) and brain flexers (Land of the Pyramids), all based on TLC shows. Here you’ll find links to Discovery’s games and live cams, as well as originals like Great Books, an online forum to discuss literary masterpieces (think Oprah’s Book Club for brainiacs), and a chills-inducing guide to extreme weather. The TLC daytime section focuses mostly on relationships and home decorating — a mental break from all that higher learning. B

Tom Green
First, a warning: Tom Green is much tamer online than he is on TV, so if it’s raunch you want, visit a fan site (scads of them are linked from here). Free from scatological humor and shocking gustatory concoctions, Green uses his official site to refute rumors that he staged an offensive Hitler joke and to post numerous letters to his fans. He actually comes off as affably sane, though he does encourage some lite annoyance (you can pester your friends with wake-up calls featuring recordings by gimps-in-residence Phil and Glenn), and he’s not above selling a little schlock or campaigning — make that begging — for you to watch his MTV show. Still, it’s a relief to find a celeb site that offers more personality than the usual PR machine. A-

As Seen In (http://www.asseenin.com)
Billed as ”the ultimate Hollywood experience,” this mecca of commercial excess plays on that little tendency we have to identify with TV characters. The site highlights clothing and furniture from four Spelling-made shows, then links you to where you can buy your own. It’s a clever concept, but one that isn’t fully realized. Most frustrating is that you can’t buy many of the products online, nor are prices listed. As for quality, the home furnishings range from the shabby-chic trimmings of Charmed to the preacher’s-family spareness of 7th Heaven, while the unremarkable wardrobe selections are slim pickings unless you’re a size 4 who thinks 90210‘s Donna Martin has good taste. C

Daria (www.mtv.com/mtv/tubescan/animation/daria/)
The title character of MTV’s animated hit would roll her eyes at the thought of a website devoted to her, but the cable channel’s official page does a nice job of making it more classy than cutesy. Here you can take a virtual tour of Lawndale, watch RealPlayer clips, and read Daria’s sardonic monthly commentary on the sad, sad state of the world. Best online-only extra: animated blooper clips (think Kevin accidentally drawn without an eye). The site’s a work in progress, but hardened Daria fans will crack a pleased sneer. A-