As it did last summer, the Fox network is trying to lure viewers away from the reruns and failed pilots on ABC, CBS, and NBC by introducing a few new series. This pair of shows also represents the feisty network’s first series efforts for Wednesday nights.
Glory Days is about four high-school buddies who go their separate ways after graduation: Dave (Spike Alexander) is a rookie cop, Walker (Brad Pitt) is a reporter for a small newspaper, Dominic (Evan Mirand) goes to college, and Peter (Nicholas Kallsen) — oh, he’s ”a wild-eyed dreamer,” as the Fox publicity release says, who is ”searching for his own role in life.”
Kallsen might have done better to search for his own role in this show: He’s an amiable cipher, as are most of the rest of the cast. The series may have lifted its title from the Bruce Springsteen song of the same name, but it lacks Springsteen’s sense of drama and detail. The one thing these boys do really well is chatter — they talk and talk about their high-school days as if they belonged to some distant, golden era, when in fact they ended just a year or so earlier.
With its combination of camaraderie and moodiness, Glory Days clearly hoped to cross the 1982 film Diner with Fox’s own 21 Jump Street — there’s even a shoot-out in a convenience store to provide some action in the midst of this gabfest. But the gab is mostly gabble — idle boasting, feeble joking — and Glory Days is ultimately vainglorious.
As for Molloy — well, no, it’s not a sitcom based on a Samuel Beckett novel. Would that it were: Molloy is a sassy teenager (played by Mayim Bialik) who moves to Beverly Hills to live with her divorced father and his new family. In addition to adjusting to her new family situation, the poor kid experiences the culture shock of Los Angeles.
It’s a cute premise, but Molloy consists mostly of the usual sitcom jokes about L.A. airheadedness, dumb dads, and bratty siblings. Mayim Bialik is a bright, lively actress — she played the young Bette Midler in Beaches — but she has a tendency to ham it up when delivering a punch line.
Molloy is, finally, just an average little sitcom, a rarity for the network that gave us the offbeat Simpsons and Married With Children. Both shows: C-