Robert Urich (Spenser for Hire, Lonesome Dove) is one of television’s most enduring, likable big-hero guys. He deserves a good series and, in theory, Crossroads might have been a good show, an exploration of the way fathers both screw up and redeem their sons. Urich is Johnny Hawkins, a successful New York City prosecutor who chucks it all when the opportunity arises for him to reestablish a relationship with his long-estranged progeny, 16-year-old Dylan (Dalton James).
Johnny sees Dylan as a sullen youth destined for the slammer, and so he takes action to intervene: He gets a couple of motorcycles, and father and son set out to explore this great land of ours, learning about decency from the people they meet, reading Huckleberry Finn by the campfire at night. The ads for this new series boil it down: ”A man. His son. Two Harleys. America.” They forgot ”And a small fortune.” How is it that Johnny can afford to just quit work and wet-nurse this overgrown brat?
Urich is capable of making this sort of ennobling hogwash believable — he radiates earnestness without being corny. But James is a standard-issue prime-time hunk — you quickly wish he, his pouty lower lip, and his Harley would all skid off the road so we could enjoy this show — a sort of ”Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Therapy” — without him. C-