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Should ''Felicity'' replace ''Glory Days''?

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Eddie Cahill, Jay R. Ferguson, ...
Glory Days: The WB

Should ”Felicity” replace ”Glory Days”?

Those of us lamenting the deterioration of the soon-to-vanish ”X-Files” should apologize to ”Files” founder Chris Carter (me first), since a hard lesson in just how difficult it is to craft a something’s-crazy-here series can be gleaned merely by tuning into any given week’s episode of the WB’s new all-twentysomethings-are-beautiful thriller series ”Glory Days” (Wednesdays, 9 p.m.).

Kevin Williamson — author (let’s just drop that inappropriately inflating ”auteur” tag in this case, shall we?) of ”Dawson’s Creek” and the ”Scream” movies — takes a premise that is indeed evocative of the Bruce Springsteen mythos that gives the show its title: A guy named Mike (Eddie Cahill) writes a best-selling mystery novel but is stuck on a follow-up; he returns to his small hometown, gets involved in the lives of his best friend, now the hamlet’s police chief (Jay R. Ferguson), and flirts with a foxy blonde (Poppy Montgomery), who is also a medical examiner.

Cahill, who played Jennifer Aniston’s boy-toy in a few episodes of ”Friends” and wielded a gun in the usually sedate ”Felicity,” is a solid romantic lead, but Williamson and his writers fail to provide the romance; instead, they fill ”Glory” with supernatural (or, more tediously, fake-supernatural) huggermugger: plots about teens playing a ”Grim Reaper” board game that provokes them to violence; last week’s dud intended as a witty variation on ”The Exorcist.” February sweeps promises an episode featuring, says the WB press release, ”vampire vixens.”

Actually, the scariest item in ”Glory Days” is an alarmingly make-up-caked Theresa Russell, playing a coffee-shop trollop who once bedded Mike’s dad (eeeek!). You’d think Williamson could have pulled off a cross between ”Dawson” (small-town soap) and ”Scream” (eeeeek!) with panache; instead, it’s more like a pancake: flat. The only good thing that can come from ”Glory Days,” it would seem, is that it makes the fluttering ratings for the series it’s temporarily replacing, the glowing ”Felicity,” seem like a surer bet for future renewal.

Which would you rather watch: ”Glory Days” or ”Felicity”?

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