Glenn Hall, Dana Plant, Roberta Young & Manny Lott
Created by David E. Kelley

Snoops, TV hot shot David E. Kelley's short-lived series, about hi-tech, high-priced female private eyes in Santa Monica, premiered the weekend of September 25, 1999, full of promise and hoopla.

Let's just say expectations were not met.

A major disappointment, considering that Kelley is the wonder kid who created and mostly wrote the always smart, challenging and provocative Picket Fences and the in-yer-face Ally McBeal (I'm less convinced about The Practice and Chicago Hope, although for the most part, hey, they're both smarter than yer average bear).

But Snoops? Sorry, it poops.

Maybe they were aiming the show at make-up addicts. There was enough gloss slapped on Snoops in just the first episode to cover the entire female casts' lips for a year. It looked like Charlie's Angels with enough product placements to fill an episode of The Price is Right. I kept watching it, just in case a bit of good writing got out.

I can't believe Kelley created this lame excuse for a show. I mean, he's won the Emmy, the Golden Globe and the Peabody Award, and then he put this out? Who does he think he is, the love child of Aaron Spelling and Bob Barker? (Lovely iMacs and Apple G3's and and funky matching blue monitors, though. Can I have the props now that the show's been canned?).

Anyway, the scoop on Snoops is that GLENN HALL (played by a very pouty-lipped Gina Gershon) runs this high-tech, high-faluting detective agency, along with street-smart op (ie: black) ROBERTA YOUNG (Paula Jai Parker) and beefcake technician MANNY LOTT (Danny Nucci). They're big on electronic surveillance, wiretaps, computer hackings, bugs and breaking and entering, but they don't seem overly concerned with the law, or even ethics. Business is booming, and they're looking to hire another op. So along comes strictly by-the-book policewoman DANA PLANT (Paula Marshall), looking for a job. Oh, what jocularity and festivity then ensues.

And all those people are so gosh-dartn pretty! (Even Gina Gershon, who plays Glenn, which surprised me. I always used to think of her as sexy as all hell, but never really pretty. Aliens -- or Hollywood -- must have sucked her brains and soul out and rebuilt her or something). And unless I misunderstood a quip or two, there was a rather mean-spirited running gag about how nauseating it was to watch the less-than-glamourous, older, overweight woman client kiss a guy who's also less than model-like. It was a cheap shot, and really offensive to anyone who doesn't look like a Barbie doll. Maybe Kelley's been married to Michelle Pfffffff-Pfffffff too long. He's starting to think everyone looks like that.

Even the cast was aware of something in the air. Allegedly disappointed by the direction the show had taken (they had a direction?), Paula Marshall, who played Dana, demanded changes. She quit the agency in the November 21 episode. Her character's excuse to exit? Because she found their tactics distasteful. The hook? It was probably the least painful episode yet. And so, in the last few episodes (it was finally put out of our misery for good in December 1999) she was back on the force, but still hanging around the agency.

At this rate, Kelley is starting to smell more like Aaron Spelling everyday. And that's pretty bad.





Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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