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Passed By

Christopher keeps pestering me: “When are you going to write about Pasadena?” Well, how about now.

The Soapnet channel is about halfway through running this series, which originally had a perplexingly short run on the Fox network in 2001. I’m getting a Desperate Housewives/Twin Peaks-vibe from this twisted family soap opera, beautifully scripted by Mike White (indie films Chuck and Buck and The Good Girl) and produced by Diane Keaton (who often has a hand in quirky, overlooked fare like this). The cast is headed by Dana Delany as the bitchy passive-aggressive mom, the kind of woman who casually observes the family dog eating a lethal helping of rat poison. Actually, the entire cast is superb and the storyline (about a murder in the well-connected family’s past) is very compelling. So, how did something this good not last long? Unfortunately, it premiered in September 2001. Fox didn’t know how to handle something this unconventional (same with Firefly) and canned the show after airing only four episodes. Soapnet is airing all thirteen episodes produced, with the central “Philip Parker” mystery being resolved at the end. Catch it before it goes, and hopefully if the ratings are decent enough there will be a future DVD release.

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