Other than music, very little '80s in 'Glory Daze'
TBS has a new '80s nostalgia-based show debuting Tuesday at 10 p.m.: Glory Daze. Is it worth watching? Depends on what you want from a TV show based in the '80s. Here's the scoop.
THE PLOT: Four guys at fictional Hayes University (probably set in Ohio, but we don't know for sure yet) decide to rush a fraternity. After much searching, they decide on the rowdiest house on campus. Sound like Animal House? You bet.
THE HOOK: It's based in 1986 and it drops a few hints here and there. Easy stuff like references to the Soviet Union as the "evil empire." The whole Reagan-lovin' phenomenon. Even an ongoing and totally unnecessary sideplot about lamb-skin vs. latex condoms -- presumably still funny in a sexually enlightened world about to be rocked by AIDS.
THE ACTORS: A lot of fresh faces, at least to the guy who spends every waking hour watching Red Dawn and Caddyshack. But fans of Saturday Night Live will appreciate the acting chops of Tim Meadows, who plays an ultra-liberal professor with a knack at busting on his students at just the right moment. Easily my favorite character of the show. I'd like to see some cameos from '80s legends as the season progresses.
THE BAWDINESS: Every important and potentially censor-cringing B-word appears in the first episode: beer, bongs, butts and balls. Over and over again ... and usually with both pain and embarrassment involved. If it's starting to sound a little too much like American Pie now, again the references are there -- even a Stiffler type character.
THE FASHION: There's no great effort here, nothing along the finesse of say, The Wedding Singer. But it's nice to see skinny and knit ties back along with the obligatory rolled-up jacket sleeves.
THE MUSIC: Finally, here's where Glory Daze shines. Duran Duran. Talking Heads. English Beat. Frankie Goes to Hollywood. There's even the obligatory unprintable song title from the Dead Kennedys! Can the show keep up the pace on great music? Oh god please.
FINAL GRADE: So is it worth watching? I'll tivo it for now. Let's hope it's just the start of some totally tubular '80s lovin'!