Intensities in Ten Suburbs

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TV O.D.: A First Look at My Own Worst Enemy

Posted by Andrew Unterberger on August 13, 2008

The dark suit means he’s evil

You remember the ads for Me, Myself & Irene, Jim Carrey’s largely forgotten one-more-of-these-and-then-I-go-serious-for-good schizo slapstick flick from the beginning of the decade? They were largely unremarkable, except for the bit at the end, where Carey flipped over a fence or something, accompanied by the strains of turn-of-the-century superstars Lit, singing “it’s no surprise to me I am my own worst enemy.” ‘Coz, y’know, he’s got multiple, clashing personalities, right? Of course, the preview only uses that one line, cutting off abruptly after getting that key plot-point descriptor in there. The only time I can think of that a movie used an isolated song lyric to cheesier effect is when NiN’s “Into the Void” was used in Final Destination solely for the line “pictures in my head of the final destination” (WOAH HO HO HE SAID THE MOVIE TITLE).

Anyway, point is, NBC has now apparently made an entire TV series based on this preview. Not only that, but it stars ex-teen heartthrob/action hero/cokehead/public drunk/girlfriend-beater/straight-to-video-Hollow-Man Christian Slater! He’s an “efficiency expert” named Henry who lives a comfortable, buttoned-down existence with a wife and two kids. But he’s also a trained killer named Edward, whose existence is significantly less buttoned down and can, according to the Wiki page, run a four-minute mile (what, did the producers time him?) See, there are two of them, quite different from each other–in the same body. They’re the same person, but they’re not the same person, probably. Also in the mix are Oscar/Emmy/Tony triple threat Alfre Woodward, Boston Legal star Saffron Burrows, and (arguably) one of TV’s five most quintessential fat-dudes-with-hot-wife, Mike O’Malley, all of whom presumably play characters that do not share the body of Christian Slater.

Not that the rest of NBC’s upcoming fall schedule looks much better, mind you. The familiar faces are all back, thankfully–Heroes, Deal or No Deal, the Thursday night Murderers’ Row of My Name is Earl, The Office and 30 Rock. But it doesn’t look like they’ll be getting much support from the rooks, including Aussie dysfunctional family import Kath & Kim (sample trailer quote: “My marriage is OVER. O-V-U-R. OVER!“), the “how much do I really wanna hear Val Kilmer as a talking car for an hour a week” remake of Knight Rider (answer: A lot, but not quite that much), and Crusoe, which, bad jokes be damned, actually is a re-telling of Robinson Crusoe (hey guys, Sam Neil is in it! C’mon! Sam Neil!) Even with Friday Night Lights coming back at the end of the season (after originally airing on Direct TV), this isn’t exactly going to be the rebuilding year the struggling Peacock needs.

But even amidst these shallow waters, My Own Worst Enemy seems notably bereft of anything resembling potential. Kath & Kim seems like a show that can at least coast by on “well, it’s definitely quirky, so maybe if we keep watching it it’ll get funny too” trickery for a whole season, and Knight Rider, well, maybe they can make it gritty and weird like Michael Mann’s Miami Vice movie and get 10-15 episodes before being relegated to “brilliant but cancelled” status (and Bourne producer/Go and Swingers director Doug Liman is behind it, so maybe there’s actually a shot of this here). But even if I set the over/under at five episodes here, who among us would be man enough to take the over? I mean, just look at this quote from the Wiki page:

My Own Worst Enemy explores the duality of a man who is literally pitted against himself, a la Dr. Henry Jekyll and Mr. Edward Hyde. And it raises the question: who can you trust when you can’t trust yourself?

And just in case you’ve forgotten since thse second paragraph–THIS SHOW STARS CHRISTIAN SLATER. Can you honestly come up for an argument about how this won’t be this year’s Cavemen?

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