TAKEN FROM http://www.ultimatetv.com/news/r/a/98/04/06push.html and 06pushb.html. This page was updated with the complete version of the review on August 22nd, 1999. The review was originally distributed August 6th, 1998.
By Dennis Mahoney,
On television, people in their late teens and early twenties have one thing on their minds: sex.
So when I first heard about ABC's new drama, "Push," I was intrigued. Here was a show that finally focused on young people who have ambitions, people for whom there are more important things than getting laid.
Alas, I was wrong. The show does spend quite a bit of time on the training regiments of each featured athlete, but it spends even more time on their mating regiments.
This is not, however, such a bad thing. Eavesdropping on a person's personal life can be far more interesting than watching them work out, and as soap operas go, "Push" isn't all that bad.
Adam Trese takes a break from his brilliant work in such independent films as "Laws of Gravity" and "Palookaville" to play Victor Yates, a gymnast who suffered a terrible injury during the '96 Olympics in Atlanta. In the first episode of the show he arrives on the campus of Cal Southern, having accepted the position of head gymnastics coach.
Almost immediately we learn that his assistant coach Nikki Lang (Jamie Pressly, "Poison Ivy: New Seduction") was his teammate and lover way back in '96. And damned if that crafty little vixen doesn't have her mind set on renewing their relationship.
Nikki's friend Cara Bradford (Laurie Fortier) is a beautiful and gifted gymnast, though perhaps a bit distracted. It doesn't help that the jealous Nikki keeps undermining her working relationship with Coach Yates.
One of the other gymnasts, Tyler Mifflin (Scott Gurney) is a naive Midwesterner who runs into a few facts of life that are bound to open his eyes a bit about the ways of the world. His roommate is bronze medal winning swimmer Scott Trystan (Eddie Mills), whose burgeoning relationship with fellow swimmer Erin (Maureen Flanagan, "Out of This World") is hindered by the possibility that he may have contracted HIV.
Erin's brother Eric was a gymnast who died in the first episode after being given drugs by his track star roommate, Dempsey Easton (Jason Behr), formerly the fastest man on campus. But lately Dempsey has some competition in freshman Milo Reynolds (Jacobi Wynne), a virtually unbeatable sprinter. The pressure to be number one weighs mightily on Dempsey's shoulders, and he is willing to do anything to regain that position.
"Push" is shot very much like a commercial for tennis shoes or deodorant, so it's no surprise that two of it's creators, Laura Gregory and Andy Morahan, are award-winning commercial directors. And with all the angst in the air, it also is no shocker that the third creator, Mark B. Perry is an Emmy winner for "Party of Five."
The only real surprise is how well the show actually works. The cast is very appealing, especially Flanagan and Mills, whose sweet, but possibly doomed romance is quite affecting. Trese is a solid lead, though his character here doesn't require either the volatility or the quirkiness of his feature roles.
Pressly has a lot of fun with her role as the token bitch, actually making her somewhat sympathetic. Fortier does a fine job as the not-as-savvy-as-she-thinks Cara. And Behr is suitably creepy as the overly driven Dempsey.
The only real problem I have with the cast is that the one black athlete in the school, Milo, isn't really given anything to do except be black. Wynne shows a lot of promise in the few scenes he is given in which he actually speaks. Hopefully he will be given more to do in episodes to come.
Don't get me wrong: "Push" is, basically, trash, as the overabundance of scenes featuring Pressly and Fortier in a steaming sauna (which could be improved with some hot lesbian action) gives dead away. But it is good trash, as good as "90210" and far better than either "Melrose Place" or the recently deceased "Significant Others." I may not admit it in public, but I'm going to keep watching "Push."
"Push" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC
Click here to go back to Push A Little Harder
Click here to sign my guestbook.
Click here to Sign My Push Guestbook