Zoe Busiek
Created by Lynn Latham and Bernard Lechowick

"Nobody's ever accused me of being an adult before."
-- Zoe reveals that parental responsibility isn't her strong suit.

Joely Fisher is ZOE BUSIEK, a former wild child and Vegas blackjack dealer who ends up a Chicago insurance fraud investigator for a big downtown agency after her sister's death in a car crash leaves her with three kids to raise, in Lifetime's Wild Card, which made its debut in August 2003.

Although all the previews I've seen suggest it's more a family drama show than crime fiction, there is actual detective work done here. Zoe's may not be exactly cut out for motherhood, but as a fledgling investigator, she's pretty competent, and pretty likable.

I liked it, even if it was a little "girly" (and after all, what did I expect? Lifetime isn't exactly Spike-TV).Fisher is pretty good, and the domestic stuff seems pretty well-handled, and believable. Mostly she seems to butt heads with the oldest child, Taylor, a headstrong teenager chaffing under her aunt's rule. Sure, it's a little cute at times, but it has good intentions.

And the office stuff plays out well too, offering the closest I've seen lately to a P.I. procedural. There are inter-office politics, rivalries, friendships, problems with bosses, co-workers, etc., etc. In other words -- an actual sense of people working for a living.

I mean, real people, with real problems, working real cases? Get outta here!

Okay, it's television real, not real-real, but I prefer it to designer car chases, perpetual Sports Illustrated bimbo close-ups and look-at-me! look-at-me! pretensions of something like CSI or Las Vegas.

It may be fluff, but because it knows what it is, and presents itself on those low-key terms, it's actually rather enjoyable. and the inter-office stuff reminds me, rather favourably at times, of the old Mary Tyler Moore Show. Honest!

And it's interesting how Vegas seems to be really hot as a TV show location these days, even just in passing, as it is in this show, CBS kicked it off with CSI, Fox continues it with the quirky comedy/drama, Lucky, and now other networks are jumping on the bandwagon. Besides Wild Card, UPN's Vegas Dick and NBC's Las Vegas are set to debut in the fall of 2003, and they're all P.I.-related, or at least concern various aspects of casino security and fraud investigation.

TELEVISION

  • WILD CARD
    (aka "Zoe Busiek: Wild Card")
    (2003-05, Lifetime)
    60-minute episodes
    Filmed in Toronto
    Created by Lynn Latham and Bernard Lechowick
    Starring
    Joely Fisher as ZOE BUSIEK
    Also starring
    Rae Dawn Chong as Sophie
    Chris Potter as Dan Lennox
    With
    Bronson Picket as Marcos Morales
    and Vikki Krinsky as Taylor
  • Season One
  • "Pilot" (August 2, 2003)
  • "The Learning Cyrve" (August 9, 2003)
  • "Con Artistry" (August 16, 2003)
  • "Hell Week" (August 23, 2003)
  • "Dearly Beloved" (September 6, 2003)
  • "Dead Again" (September 13, 2003)
  • 'The Cheese Stands Alone (September 27, 2003)
  • "No Bull" (October 4, 2003)
  • "Mimi's Assets" (October 18, 2003)
  • "Spooked" (October 25, 2003)
  • "Sand Trap" (November 8, 2003)
  • "Black Sheep" (November 15, 2003)
  • "Bullet Proof" (December 6, 2003)
  • "Backstabbed" (December 13, 2003)
  • "Auntie Venom" (January 3, 2004)
  • "Block Party" (January 10, 2004)
  • "Candy Land" (January 17, 2004)

  • Season Two
  • "A Felony for Melanie" (July 11, 2004)
  • "Dr. Sidney Loses a Kidney" (July 18, 2004)
  • "Sniper Shot, Intern Hot" (July 25, 2004)
  • "Roses are Red, Violets are Busiek" (August 1, 2004)
  • "Bound and Gagged, Your Husband Was Snagged" (August 8, 2004)
  • "Wham Bam, Thank You Dan" (August 15, 2004)
  • "Slam Dunk Funk" (August 22, 2004)
  • "Die, Die, Who Am I?" (September 26, 2004)
  • "Premonition Mission" (October 3, 2004)
  • "Bada Bing, Bada Busiek" (October 10, 2004)
  • "Tick Tock, Writer's Block" (October 17, 2004)
  • "Blind in a Bind" (October 24, 2004)
  • "Russian Missus Gets No Kisses" (June 11, 2005)
  • "See Ya Later, Investigator" (June 18, 2005)
  • "A Whisper From Zoe's Sister" (June 25, 2005)
  • "Multiple Personality Fatality" (July 2, 2005)
  • "My Boyfriend is an Axe Murderer" (July 9, 2005)
  • "Zoe's Phony Matrimony" (July 16, 2005)

RELATED LINKS

Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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