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TV Reviews: 'Abby' a trite sexcom; Travel show examines jet crashes

Monday, January 06, 2003

By Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor

UPN's latest sexcom, "Abby," isn't as loud and broad as "The Parkers," but it's not as smart as "Girlfriends" or as entertaining as "Half and Half."


dot.gif WHEN: Previews tonight at 9:30 p.m.; time slot premiere Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. on UPN.

dot.gif STARRING: Sydney Tamiia Poitier, Kadeem Hardison.


The likable Sydney Tamiia Poitier ("First Years"), daughter of actor Sidney Poitier, stars as the title character. In tonight's premiere she breaks up with her self-centered, longtime boyfriend, Will (Kadeem Hardison), but she can't get him to move out.

The same day, Abby also gets promoted to producer of a TV sports news show, the anchor of which, Max (Randy J. Goodwin), has an unrequited crush on her.

After her breakup, Abby uses Max, pretending to spend the night with him in an effort to make Will jealous so he'll move out.

"Last night I had a heapin' helpin' of Max," she tells Will. "If last night was any indication, that boy likes to thrash about."

If sex talk and contrived misunderstandings are your bag, "Abby" is your show. Just be prepared for lots of will-they-or-won't-they plots, petty jealousy and battles of the sexes.

Abby: "Oh, men!"

Will: "Oh, women!"

Me: "Oh, enough!"

'Probable Cause' (9 p.m. tomorrow, Travel Channel)

If you have a fear of flying, this show is not for you.

"Probable Cause"

dot.gif WHEN: 9 p.m. tomorrow on Travel Channel.

dot.gif HOST: Peter Greenberg.


For anyone else, particularly fans of procedural dramas like "CSI" or "Law & Order," "Probable Cause" follows the search for explanations of jetliner crashes.

"We are at once fearful of and fascinated by what happened and why," says host/narrator Peter Greenberg ("Today" show travel editor). He's absolutely right.

The program's first hour explores the human factor involved in the crashes, but the second hour includes the Pittsburgh crash of USAir flight 427 as "Probable Cause" looks at the mechanics of failure.

"[Flight] 427 was one of the most challenging investigations in aviation history," says one former US Airways pilot. "It's one of the longest, one of the most detailed [investigations]. It proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the U.S. approach to accident investigation in aviation is successful."

There's nothing new to be gleaned about the 1994 USAir crash, which was covered extensively by local media. But taken as a whole, the two hours illustrate the need for agencies to work together to solve these mysteries and how, by doing so, air travel becomes safer for everyone.

Rob Owen can be reached at rowen@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2582. Post questions or comments to http://www.post-gazette.com/tv under TV Forum.

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