In Praise of Six Degrees

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I am making a rare reviewing appearance on the blog to sing the praises of J.J. Abrams/Bad Robot's Six Degrees on ABC because it was so seriously the best hour of scripted drama I've ever seen on TV that I need to spread the word so people tune in so the show will stick around so I can see more of it. It was that good.

I had actually not gotten around to watching the pilot because I so loathe all of the other female-targeting dramas with their cutesy banter and cheesy nicknames - McDreamy? McLame. Anyway, Six Degrees was a riveting hour of television. I think what appealed to me most was the largely authentic New York details. There's a scene where two women of a similar sort of privileged social standing make friends in their side-by-side pedicure chairs after one asks the other for her polish color combination. (It was Ballet Slippers - which is most definitely a real color, and something I can't remember but which I didn't recognize. The nail salon I recognized as Think Pink on Waverly and 6th, where B&C staffers have been known to go). Anyway, at first, they're both so stressed - as most NY women are when they hit the pedi chairs - that they're not that friendly to each other, but through the Sonic Youth T-shirt that one of them's wearing, they figure out that they were both at the same concert years ago and end up leaving the nail place together, one consoling the other over her cheating bastard of a soon-to-be fiancée. So maaaybe it's a bit of a stretch that they became such fast friends, but I've seen random connections made like that in New York, and that's just what this show's about - the random way in which we're all connected. In an hour, he show managed to get weave together stories about those two women - the widow of a cable news reporter killed in Iraq and a tightly-wound pr executive whose aforementioned soon-to-be fiancée is cheating on her with girls he's picking up online - with those of a fugitive and her court-appointed lawyer, a neurotic photographer, and a kindly town car driver with a horse-betting habit and a shady past. I hope that between all of them, there's someone for every viewer to identify…otherwise, I fear Six will face the same sorry fate of others with some appeal to the upscale urban set - appreciated by urban TV press, but passed over by middle America. Last night's 14.95 million total viewers are definitely nothing to sneeze at, so hopefully it's sitting pretty for now!!

By Anne Becker

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