Love Bites

The unstoppable Jennifer Love Hewitt has the time of her life; viewers don't

Perhaps the most bizarre aspect of Time of Your Life has to do with its strange conspiracy of silence. Whatever the genesis of Love's cleavage, it's clearly a major selling point in all of those steamy, or at least cloudy, photos you can find on the Web (her first nude scene, sure to be suitably gussied up in "artistic" values, is destined to top $100 million at the box office). Indeed, Sarah's experience flies in the face of, oh, 150 years of New York stories to suppose that a young woman this unrelentingly dewy would make it more than a day without being propositioned. Yet as far as we can tell, not a single character seems to harbor any desire for Love other than what she might dream for herself. The sugar daddy she thought might be her father, but wasn't, takes it into his head to care for her in his most fatherly manner; the happenin' record-store dude falls chastely for her, too; hipsters throw themselves at her feet. This is plain weird, as bizarre as the suggestion that Nash Bridges's Yasmine Bleeth would be married to Don Johnson, or the more fundamental suggestion that Don Johnson is a commanding and compelling presence. Hell, even 90210 occasionally acknowledged the weird reverse-Oedipal undertones of Aaron Spelling's wild daughter playing a hypersexed virgin.

The perkiness of an acne-cream pitchwoman, the inspiration and spontaneity of a financial planner: Jennifer Love Hewitt
The perkiness of an acne-cream pitchwoman, the inspiration and spontaneity of a financial planner: Jennifer Love Hewitt

But here we're not so lucky. The result is a supposedly boho New York show in which not a single one of the characters appears to have even visited New York; a fearful spectacle of youthful ego (or adult pandering to the teen audience's imagined demands) run amok; a program so remarkably bogus from beginning to end that you wind up grateful for the stray moments of accuracy. Thrown far out of whack by its star's peculiar gravity, Time of Your Life dwells in some never-never land that feels false even for TV--imagine Rent, only the G-rated version, produced by the Disney Channel. I'd like to think it'll flop, but as television history has already proven, Love conquers all.

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