Pay Nets Fare Runs the Gamut


Escape from Wildcat Canyon, a Showtime movie "for
all ages" scheduled for Father's Day, is a well-told family-appeal adventure
about a boy and his spry grandfather who must fight for survival in the Adirondack
wilderness when a planned vacation trip goes awry.

Their escapes from precarious situations are sometimes
far-fetched, but the acting by Dennis Weaver as Grandpa Flint and Michael Caloz as Pete,
11, lifts this warm drama above typically bland "family" fare. Escape
also is bolstered by realistic wilderness scenes, shot in Quebec.

However, Home Box Office's Sex and the City,
billed as a new adult-comedy series, is neither very adult nor funny. Based on Candace
Bushnell's best seller, it stars Sarah Jessica Parker as a New York tabloid columnist
who writes about the "sexploits" of her 30-something friends.

Men fare poorly in the initial episodes, about "toxic
bachelors" and model-fixated "modelizers," which offered little humor, but
much annoyance from the technique of having the sex-obsessed, cardboard characters address
the viewers -- even in the midst of a scene.

In Escape, co-produced by Hallmark Entertainment,
the boy -- besides having to contend with cold weather, a pack of wolves, a mountain lion
and a raging river -- must help to give diabetic Grandpa his insulin shots.

Weaver, far removed from his McCloud days, portrays
a grandfather who's closer to his grandson than to his son. Pete learns that
Grandpa's old World War II tales are true. Kids like playing war video games, Grandpa
says, but "the real thing, oh, it's terrible!"

In a subplot, they were told, just before leaving on this
vacation, that Pete's parents may relocate to New York so that his ambitious father
can land a plum job.

Escape airs June 21 at 8 p.m., and it repeats June 26. Sex
and the City
bows June 6 at 9:45 p.m., with the first two episodes repeating June 7
and 14.