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Science Fiction - Wild Palms

Buy Wild Palms
James Belushi, Dana Delany, Robert Loggia, Kim Catrall
Various directors
ABC Television Miniseries 1993
6 Shows 2 DVDs
MGM Home Video 2005
285 minutes
Average Customer Review At Amazon: 4 out of 5 stars

David Lynch's bizarre vision crashes into Oliver Stone conspiracy theories in Wild Palms' world of virtual reality. Wild Palms is a very strange helping of eye candy and ultimately a messy television miniseries. Wild Palms clearly aims to be sci-fi noir: It has the actors to carry the mission out, but ultimately outweirds, overexplains (and yet at the same time understates some important points) itself.

Wild Palms borrows a lot from real history and gives it a convoluted futuristic (and sometimes overblown) shade or two in a who will control reality and thus the world kind of plot. It features Robert Loggia as a Senator who is the founder of a movement called Synthiotics - read here a shot at L. Ron Hubbard and his Dianetics and weird cult Scientology - and the leader of a movement called the Fathers who during the nineties battled an underground movement called The Friends (i.e. the libertarian Quaker movement). Everybody in this bizarre story is somehow caught up in the fight between good, the Friends, and the evil government style Fathers. There are also many references to the Church of Windows, part of Loggia's programming, and an obvious jab at Bill Gates and Microsoft.

James Belushi plays with a comic flair that sometimes stands out like a sore thumb a character called Harry Wyckoff. Wyckoff is a lawyer who seems to be the center of all the other characters as we learn his wife, Dana Delany, is the daughter of the Friends leader, his mother is the girlfriend of the Senator, his ex-girlfriend, Kim Catrall, works for the Senator but asks him to find her son who disappeared in the nineties (as in probably kidnapped by the Fathers and so the Senator's bunch), while his son stars with Bebe Neuwirth in some weird kind of sitcom.

This is the kind of show a real sci-fi freak, computer nerd, and conspiracy theorist will definitely sink his or her teeth into. Wild Palms is very lush, very weird, has lots of fancy camera angles and shots. It is definitely the absolutely love it or loathe it kind of production. Some swear by it, the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Horror Film nominated it as best genre television series while a British magazine named it fourth worst American television series of all time.

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