Diary of a Tuber
by Chris J. Magyar

Now and Again:
Not sure what it is, but I like it

Now and Again airs Fridays at 9pm on CBS.

So I was watching tv and I scored the great entertainment coup. I saw this great sci-fi show, then I saw a pretty decent family drama, and then I watched this weird comedy show. In between I saw some secret-agent fare, and then checked out an office drama along the lines of "L.A. Law." And all this on a Friday. No, I definitely wasn't watching TGIF on ABC. In fact, I was only watching one show: "Now and Again."

Let's see if I can manage to sum this show up. Um. The first sequence takes place in Tokyo, with a Japanese guy who leaves little eggs on a vacant subway seat, then gets off. The eggs roll about on the seat, dangerously jostled, much to the amusement of a nearby young boy. Finally, an egg falls on the floor and breaks. This makes the little boy laugh. Two seconds later, however, each passenger on the car is bleeding profusely from their noses and mouths and eye-sockets, including the boy. The train pulls into the next stop, and from the exterior we can see the windows smeared with blood, a little hand
imprint reaching out from the obscured insides.


Then we see John Goodman in bed with his young, thin beautiful wife.

CBS has to win some kind of award at next year's Emmys for the most jarring juxtaposition in one show. See the show isn't about a weird old Japanese man who murders people in public with eggs (even though he terrorizes De Gaulle airport in Paris the very same way halfway through the show). It's about an insurance salesman (John Goodman) who gets passed up for a promotion, gets plastered, then gets pushed in front of a subway, killing him. The government brings his brain back to life (in an amusing sequence featuring the strangely ebulliant Dennis Haysbert) and implants it into the body of the Six Million Dollar Man. Not bionic, but juiced up with enough hormones to be close. As Haysbert puts it, "We thought of everything. But I'm embarassed to admit, we never, ever considered putting a rocket up your ass so you could fly."

The catch: our hero Michael Wiseman (now played by Eric Close) can never contact anyone he knew when he was John Goodman. This introduces a whole host of plot holes. Why didn't they pick a dead guy who had no close family or friends in his former life? Why didn't they erase his memory, since they admit that they have the drug that could do it? Why, if they have this technology, didn't they recruit an Army volunteer specifically for this project? Etc. etc.

Before these questions can set in, the action shifts to the widow Lisa Wiseman (Margaret Colin), who is trying to collect on the insurance her husband bought from the evil company he worked for. They, being evil, won't give it to her because they claim the subway incident was suicide (understandable). Her lawyer is introduced as a love interest (??), and oh yeah there's another angst-ridden teenage daughter in the picture (the ONLY thing this show has in common with its title brother "Once and

The mind boggles.

I must say, I'm going to be watching this show over the next few weeks pretty faithfully just to see which genre it settles into. Or if it's going to be this schizophrenic for the long run. The R&B soundtrack only adds to the disjointed feel.

Despite all the logic problems, I was entertained. I was in a pretty bad mood because I wanted to see "Amercian Beauty" but it was sold out, and I wasn't about to let a little old TV show make it all better. Somehow, this one did. Even without John Goodman in it anymore, this is a show to watch, and the only thing worth watching on a juvenile Friday night.

Lame title, though.

September 25, 1999