Screen Test



(Showtime, Monday, June 16, 10:30 pm)

The Rundown: International bestseller turned hit Brit series about a call girl's sex-capades crosses the Pond.

Pros: Billie Piper (Doctor Who) gamely turns on the charm, in spite of some compromising positions and lots of first-person talking to the camera.

Cons: Show thinks it's funny and risqué, but plays like a soft-core Sex and the City with little plot, character or dramatic interest.

The Score:Call Girl may score with fans of the pay-net's naughty '90s series Red Shoe Diaries and with Doctor Who groupies harboring a crush on Piper, but will leave everyone else cold and bothered. — George Vernadakis


(Showtime, Monday, June 16, 10 p.m.)

The Rundown: Pot-selling suburban mom Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker) and family flee to the beach near Mexico, where she will learn cross-border commerce.

Pros: Albert Brooks joins the cast as Botwin's father-in-law who never much liked her or his own son Andy (Justin Kirk), for that matter. Humorous conflict ensues.

Cons: Other than stoner friend Kevin Nealon, who's seen little in the first two episodes, it's hard to know which characters to like.

The Score: A change of scene might be welcome in this bleak black comedy. — Kent Gibbons


(Disney Channel, Friday, June 20, 8 p.m.)

The Rundown: Disney Channel moves its successful tween awakening-through-music theme made famous with High School Musical to summer camp as two teens (Demi Lovato and rock group Jonas Brothers' Joe Jonas) try to find their voices literally and figuratively at a music encampment.

Pros: The musical numbers and dance scenes hit the right notes.

Cons: The acting is subpar and the musical numbers are too few and far between.

The Score: While it's no High School Musical, Camp Rock will still have millions of Disney's tween-targeted audience singin' and dancin' in their living rooms. — R. Thomas Umstead