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EW.com rates the best and worst of the WB

”Felicity,” ”Dawson’s Creek,” or ”Roswell”? Ken Tucker explains which shows should be saved

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EW.com rates the best and worst of the WB

Now that the first cancellations are in, it’s time to start campaigning for and against TV shows whose futures may be in doubt. I’m limiting this column to stuff on the always contentious WB schedule.

SAVE THESE SHOWS

”Felicity” It remains confounding why this marvelously written, acute drama hasn’t found more of an audience. Closer than ever to cancellation, ”Felicity” is having its best season to date. Keri Russell’s Felicity has hooked up with the guy she should be with, Scott Speedman’s mumbly, woofly Ben. Ian Gomez has never been sweeter and funnier as Javier, while Sean (Greg Grunberg), often used as comic relief, has come into his own as a complex character. Add John Ritter’s brave turn as Ben’s unsympathetic, alcoholic dad, and this show is too good to let fade away.

”Grosse Pointe” Funnier than creator Darren Star’s inadvertently funny new Wall Street drama ”The Street,” ”Pointe” takes the air out of the gassy nighttime youth soap opera by way of dexterous acting — the way the performers execute both their characters and the characters they play on the show within the show is remarkably adroit. Next week, the show shifts to 9:30 Sunday nights, which probably won’t help its ratings. Then again, a series that spoofs a genre that many viewers take VERY seriously is probably doomed. But it doesn’t deserve such a fate.

”Gilmore Girls” One of the best written new shows of the season is opposite one of the best written old shows on the air, ”Friends.” My advice: Start taping ”Friends” (you tune out at 8:30 when ”Cursed” comes on NBC, don’t you?) and watch ”Gilmore” for a few weeks, to drive up its ratings and give this piquant look at mother/ daughter relationships the viewership it deserves.

CANCEL THESE SHOWS

”Roswell” I was willing to give this teens from outer space show the benefit of a first season doubt; the acting was good, the concept intriguing. But after being inundated with ”save ‘Roswell”’ mail this summer even though the damn thing had been renewed, I’ve watched the new season closely, and have come up unimpressed. In their zeal to bolster the sci fi elements of the show (hey, the ”X-Files” crowd is too old and too smart for ”Roswell”), they’ve sacrificed the one thing that made ”Roswell” compelling — the interaction between the aliens and human teens, as friends, lovers, and enemies.

”Dawson’s Creek” Could this show become any less worthy of our suspension of disbelief? The season nonstarter, the antiromance between Pacey and Joey, was laughable; Jen’s recent Ecstasy temptation played like an after school special — with acting to match. Time to sink this holes in its plots leaky vessel in the creek bearing the title character’s name.

”Popular” It ain’t popular. I know, neither is ”Felicity,” but this show has outgrown its one joke premise — beautiful girl forced to live with minimally less beautiful girl (and you decide who’s who, Leslie Bibb or Carly Pope) — and in its place, an unfunny cartoonishness, much of it centered on crude jokes about the mannish teacher played by Diane Delano, prevails. Overall: Icky. Phooey.