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Herc’s Seen
HIDDEN PALMS, The New CW Show From DAWSON’S/SCREAM Mastermind Kevin Williamson!!

I am – Hercules!!
And I'll never get why screenwriter Kevin Williamson got to have that big career. Wasn’t “Scream” a whole lot of nothing? Wasn’t “Scream 2” a whole lot more of the same? Didn’t “I Know What You Did Last Summer” suck? Wasn’t “Dawson’s Creek” a nonstop chunk of nonsense? Didn’t “Teaching Mrs. Tingle” supersuck? Didn’t “Wasteland” suck? Didn’t “Glory Days” suck? Didn’t “Cursed” suck? Those who go into The CW's dim, pretentious “Hidden Palms” with the lowest of expectations - as I did - may still find themselves thoroughly underwhelmed. The key problem is 42-year-old millionaire Williamson is a not-funny guy who continues to believe he knows how to write funny teens. But what matters Herc’s opinion? USA Today gives it a star and a half (out of four) and says:
… listening to some 16-year-old kid lecture his parents on the demands of 12-step rehabilitation is enough to make anyone reach for the mute button. …
TV Guide says:
… Overwritten and underacted (by the kids anyway), it strings out its weekly climactic shockers — some of them truly unnerving — with artery-hardening blobs of moldy adolescent whining. …
Entertainment Weekly gives it a “C-plus” and says:
… an un-eerie, under-soapy misfire … Here, the characters yak a lot but say nothing, which is either Williamson's commentary on the over-wired, self-involved e-generation, or...mediocre dialogue. …
Variety says:
… breaks zero new ground, recycling the formula that powered past high-school soaps. It's all in the execution, ultimately, and even with an accomplished cast, four episodes in, it's at best a dry heat. … The heat, after all, can drive people to do crazy things -- like watching a warmed-over teen soap.
The Hollywood Reporter says:
… mostly silly, pretentious, soap opera-style TV with an escapist mentality and the subtlety of an avalanche. …
The New York Times says:
… Remove the sex, sociopathology and possible filicide, and you will still be left with a quite inspiring home design show. … The clichéd aesthetic choice of so many single art directors, midcentury Modern isn’t necessarily the easiest signifier of typical American family life, and that is precisely the point. …
The Los Angeles Times says:
… While much of it is silly, corny or clichéd and relies more on easy effects — the power ballad, the overwrought sex scene — than on the subtle explorations of people and place that the pilot seems to promise, the series is, on the whole, highly digestible summer fun. …
Chicago Tribune says:
… This is one of those only-on-TV communities where the main characters are constantly thrown together at country club parties and around pools; they speak in the self-conscious, therapy-driven patter that has become old hat on TV. It may have seemed fresh a dozen years ago, but it’s turning into just another TV cliche. … “Hidden Palms” will never be mistaken for classic-era “O.C.,” not yet, anyway. All things considered, there’s too little to latch on to here. Handley, while easy on the eyes, isn’t enough to build a show around, and the adults, and more than a few of the kids, remain ciphers. And the truth is, we’ve been here before. …
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:
… A perfectly serviceable teen drama … by no means great television, but in a summer of reality shows and reruns, you could do a lot worse. …
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer says:
There are some series that telegraph their potential for greatness within the very first episode. The CW's "Hidden Palms" is not one of those series. Indeed, this represents the complete opposite of that idea -- a show that starts out feeling like it could be a guilty pleasure but ends up being something you want to hold face down in a full kiddie pool. …
8 p.m. Wednesday. The CW.

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