by Edward Margulies
Again and Again
It's not the cool special effects but the heartache of this guy's lonliness that promises to set
NOW AND AGAIN apart
The new TV season is upon us, and there are a few glints of gold among the acres of dross. Having seen the pilot for Now and Again, the eagerly anticipated return to series television by Moonlighting creator Glenn Gordon Caron, I think its premise -- older man wants second chance at life and gets it, but must never again contact the wife who thinks he's dead -- should make for a fascinating weekly show.
The Devil stand-in with whom hunky series star Eric Close strikes this Faustian bargain is (what else?) a representative of our government, played with considerable panache by Dennis Haysbert. Other early viewers have compared this show to The Six Million Dollar Man because the lead character gets his second chance in a bioengineered super body, but I think they're missing the point. It's not the cool special effects but the heartache of this guy's loneliness that promises to set this series apart.
When I recently asked Caron whether there were any particular Faust tales on his mind while he was creating the show, he said, "Yes. I'm very good friends with [director] Stanley Donen, and while I was working on Now and Again, I kept thinking of his movie Damn Yankees." The latter, of course, is about an older man who wants a second chance at life and gets it, but must never again contact the wife who thinks he's missing and/or dead.
Definitely check Now and Again out ... if you don't get lost looking for it. What are Tinseltown types thinking when they create similar-sounding titles? The new series I'm recommending is called Now and Again (CBS, debuts Sept. 24), while another new show is called Once and Again (ABC, debuts Sept. 21).
September 9, 1999