2003-11-23 17:51:01+00:00 - Don't miss Tarzan tonight on the WB (9pm/8pmCentral) - (firstname.lastname@example.org)
"This ain't your parent's Tarzan." If you aren't watching the WBs Tarzan, you're missing out on one of the best new shows of the season. I know what you're thinking, how good can a remake of Tarzan be. You're talking about a guy that runs around the jungle in a loin cloth, swinging from vines and yodeling. Oh and saving wimpy girlie girl Jane from the wild beasts that raised him like one of their own. But it isn't your parent's Tarzan. First off, this Tarzan isn't in the jungles of Africa but rather the urban jungle of modern day New York City. And there's no loin cloth (but for those that like some nice eye candy he does go shirtless a few times). And yes he has a knack from climbing trees and such but there's no yodeling and no little monkey buddy named Cheetah. There's also no monosyllabic vocabulary. Nor is there a wimpy and swooning Jane constantly in need of saving. What there is is John Clayton Jr, the only survivor of a plane crash 20 years ago in the jungles of the Congo. He wasn't raised by the apes but did manage to survive on his own and did learn a lot by watching the animals around him. Including how to hunt and fish, how to climb trees and so on. He's smart and a quick learner and trying to figure out the rules of this world. What there is is Jane Porter, a by the book, slightly obsessive (in that keep things orderly and clean kind of way) cop who is still trying to rise in the ranks as a Detective in the NYPD. And there's Richard and Kathleen Clayton, the estranged siblings who are fighting tooth and nail for the share of controlling stocks in the family owned Greystoke Industries that their brother John Clayton Sr left behind when he died. These shares (and additional money equaling several billion dollars) have been held in trust since the crash. Richard wants the trust to gain control of Greystoke, Kathleen wants to give it away to charity as a tribute to her lost family members. Unlike Tarzan's of the past, this show is hip and smart. It's more than just a Romeo and Juliet romance, more than a cop show, more than a conspiracy story, more than a drama. It's all this at it's best. And the cast is truly amazing. Who would have thought that an underwear model could possess the skills to convey in a look what most people would take a small soliloquy to express. Or could express so much in only a few words. (as one reviewer said "The guy that played Tarzan didn't really have much to say but even after a few grunts he showed more acting acumen then the entirety of Tom Welling's two season run.") And to his credit, Travis Fimmel obviously spends a lot of time working on the physical aspects of the character. He does almost if not all of his own stunts and his animal like moves look totally natural, unlike the cheesy stunts of his predecessors. When he moves, you see that he's no superhero. Muscles strain and ache. When he is tossed off the hood of a car, he doesn't pop right up but slowly and painfully gets to his feet. And Travis's chemistry with leading lady Sarah Wayne Callies is perfect. She is not only totally believable as the woman completely entranced and completely confused by John, she's one heck of a kick ass cop. She's not afraid to get down and dirty and she doesn't wait for John to jump to her rescue. She even steps right into the line of fire to help him escape from pursuers. And gets in a few hits in the process. Mitch Pileggi and Lucy Lawless as the Clayton siblings are icy hot and perfectly matched. You can feel the tension in the room when they are together. This is a show that is too good to miss. One episode and you'll be hooked. I challenge you to watch it on Sunday Nov 23rd (9pm Eastern on the WB). You won't regret it.