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Showtime Talks Politics in a Bar

7/26/1998 8:00 PM Eastern

Sex, race and politics are the paramount issues ofShowtime's
new comedy series, Linc's. From an African-American perspective, these issues
are tackled via the opinions and actions of those who frequent Linc's Bar and Grill,
located in Washington, D.C.

Owned and operated by Russell A. Lincoln, or
"Linc" (Steven Williams from TheX-Files), the bar attracts a
group of regulars with a multifarious band of political views and vocations.

Ranging from child's-rights activist Eleanor (Pam
Grier), to Nigerian cab-driving gossip-monger Winston (Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje of Home
Box Office's Oz), each character helps to paint the scene with unique
conviction. Other characters include CeCe, a waitress and a single mother in her 20s, who
is always surrendering her opinion in a colorful array of words, played by Tisha Campbell
(Martin); and Eartha, the well-to-do town prostitute, played by Daphne
Maxwell-Reid.

Linc's is a comedy, but as early as the opening
scene, other emotions come into play.

Each episode opens with Linc delivering a short monologue
chock-full of historical facts, personal opinions and observations affiliated with the
episode's matter at hand. Although the monologue was interesting and
thought-provoking, it seemed out of place with the anticipated comedic nature.

The quality of the comedy was, without a doubt, surpassed
by the dramatic mien. The show would have been better served if it was labeled and
structured as a drama series, with less focus on the comical aspects. The drama appeared
to flow more naturally for the characters, while much of the humor seemed forced.

While the issues were engaging, the acting was
undistinguished, despite the cast of veterans. Along with the acting, the set was quite
unconvincing. The bar seemed all too neat; it was hardly smoke-filled, and there were no
empty glasses or dirty dishes lying around. Maybe the staff manages a tremendous job of
housekeeping, but it was simply lacking in the "bar" milieu. And all of the
customers were garbed impeccably -- even the town prostitute appeared to be quite well off
-- adding another layer of falsity to the foundation.

This 13-half-hour episodic series will debut on Showtime
with a one-hour premiere Aug. 1 at 10 p.m.

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