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Wild Oates aired in September 1994 on FOX.
This was a comedy about the social lives of twentysomethings in
Chicago. Jack ( Tim Conlan) was a self-centered professional
photographer used to getting his way. His lifelong best friend and
roommate, Brian ( Paul S. Rudd) was a sensitive social worker who
between jobs worked for a temp agency. Shy Brian was dating Jack's
former girlfriend, Shelly ( Paula Marshall), a fifth-grade teacher,
rekindling Jack's ardor for her. Shelly's dizzy roommate Liz ( Jana
Marie Hupp) was an insecure hairdresser who couldn't sustain a
romantic relationship. Most of the action took place in their
apartments and at The Hanger, a neighborhood singles-club where they
talked about important things like feelings, dates, and sex, sex, sex.
Habitues there included the Kavasi sisters ( Karri Turner, Tamara
Olson), sex-crazed dumb blonde bimbos who had moved to Chicago from
their European homeland; Kathee ( Christine Cavanaugh), a cynical
waitress/musician waiting for her big break; and Gordon ( Timothy
Fall), an obnoxious nerdy regular with the hots for Liz.
An article from The Baltimore Sun
'Wild Oats': Fox's crop for twentysomethings
TURNED ON IN L.A.
July 16, 1994|By David Zurawik | David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic
Los Angeles -- You might think a show called "Wild Oats," which will follow "Married . . . With Children" on Fox's big Sunday-night lineup this fall, is only about sex.
Not so, says Jana Marie Hupp, one of the four stars of the sitcom about twentysomething singles living in Chicago. She believes "Wild Oats" has something more important to say about -- and to -- persons in their 20s.
Reacting negatively to the term "Generation X," which surfaced in a question from a fortysomething TV critic yesterday, Hupp said, "I think the entire concept of Generation X has really been around forever. There's always been a small amount of twentysomethings who have dropped out, were feeling apathetic, that weren't working.
"But there's also an enormous [number] of twentysomethings out there that need to be represented. And I think they probably resent having that label put on them. They are productive. They want success in life -- monetary, social, emotional, intellectual and otherwise.
"And I think it's important to represent these people, too. They're out there. I'm sure they probably eclipse the Generation X -- quote, unquote -- group of people. And I think that's what we do very, very well in this show -- represent them."
Paul Stephen Rudd, one of Hupp's co-stars, agreed. "It seems like Generation X has become synonymous with slacker. I mean, what is Generation X, anyway?"
"How about Generation Sex? That seems more appropriate, actually, doesn't it?" Hupp concluded.
OK, so it did get back to sex. But in the middle was some sociology and a bit of generational talk that helps explain why "Wild Oats" will be worth catching when it debuts.
Like Hupp's speech, the pilot for the show always returns to sex (and some of it is pretty stupid because it's not couched in terms of safe sex). But there is potentially more going on in this show than is suggested by the Fox synopsis: "A half-hour ensemble comedy depicting the roller-coaster lives of a group of out-all-night twentysomethings living in Chicago."
"Wild Oats" is about two sets of roommates. There's Hupp's character, Liz, and her roommate, Shelly (Paula Marshall). Then there's Rudd's character, Brian, and his roommate, Jack (Tim Conlon).
Jack and Shelly were a couple, but they split up six months ago. Now Brian and Shelly are a couple, but it's driving Jack crazy. Liz has her own problems. She meets awful guys at the Hangar, a singles bar. Jack visits the bar with Tonya and Tasha, two young sisters who seem to know about nothing but sex.
Got all that? It doesn't matter. What's important is that the show rises above Tonya and Tasha, and achieves some of the modest goals producer Lou Diamond and Hupp have for it.
"I know this isn't Shakespeare," Diamond says. "The main idea here idea is to to tell a fun story entertainingly. . . . Situation comedies mainly entertain.
"I think what we hope to achieve, though, is to show, in a positive light, friendship -- friendship between the two guys and a positive sort of love situation in the middle. It's most of all the VTC idea of good young people trying to make their way in the world. These are all working people with a modicum of success. There are no slackers in this bunch.
"If, coincidentally, that affects positive approaches toward people in their 20s, we would love to see that happen."
A footnote: Rudd and Conlon are in their 20s. Marshall won't say how old she is. Diamond is fortysomething.
And, as for Hupp, "I am 30-years-old and I'm very proud to say that," she says. "I am a strong, happy, intelligent, sexy 30-year-old."
Back to sex again. The challenge for "Wild Oats" is to go beyond its title.
A Review from Entertainment Weekly
August 26, 1994 at 04:00 AM EDT
In the new series Wild Oats (Fox, Sept. 4, 9:30-10 p.m.) Fox continues its genial obsession with sitcoms featuring unknown telegenic young actors playing telegenic young characters living single and looking for love in ways that bear little relationship to life as we know it. In this variation, set, arbitrarily, in Chicago, nice, dull guy Brian (Paul Stephen Rudd) and obnoxious, party guy Jack (Tim Conlon) are best friends and roommates who are both romantically interested in Jack’s old girlfriend Shelly (Paula Marshall, familiar to Seinfeldians as the student reporter who thought Jerry was gay). Shelly is conflicted-she likes Brian but she’s also got a thing for Jack-so between romantic skirmishes with each, she waffles out loud with her man- obsessed best friend, Liz (Jana Marie Hupp, a Sarah Jessica Parker look- alike).
I can’t imagine how this one-note premise can sustain itself beyond the premiere episode-already the charms of ambivalence and commitment-phobia are wearing thin and already one character has referred to Beavis and Butt-head- the telltale symptom of exhaustion among comedy writers. Also, speaking of ’90s realities, these sowers of Wild Oats are obsessed with sex-more specifically, with scoring-in a ’70s-ish galaxy untouched, apparently, by AIDS. Conversation abounds about lip-locking, tongue-hockey, who’s good in bed, and the relative merits of Doing It on a first date; not content with those, Jack celebrates the joys of anonymous sex. Sitting in a singles’ hangout waiting to pick up two giggling, bosomy Eastern European bimbo sisters, he describes the bar admiringly to his shy buddy as a place for ”horny losers chumming for nasty.” I couldn’t have nailed this series better myself. D-
A Review from variety
September 1, 1994 12:00AM PT
By Ray Loynd
Fox, the hormonal network, has unleashed a new sitcom, “Wild Oats,” not surprisingly about, uhh, wild oats.
Viewers drawn to such dialogue as “The gentle thump of the headboard against the wall” or “If it’s any consolation, your butt looks great” might carry this horny yuppie series through half a season. Prospects for a full year look bleak.
On the sunny side, the production hews to patented sitcom earmarks. There are crisp verbal shots (conversation this snappy and crackly happens only in hyperactive comedies). There’s a plot about two buddies vying for the same girl — who, for one guy, is an ex-girlfriend.
And, mercifully, the show boasts promising, attractive casting: Tim Conlon’s raunchy, affable jerk with “the Luke Perry hair”; Paul Rudd as his decent, sweet roommate; Paula Marshall’s floundering schoolteacher; and Jana Marie Hupp’s lustful, dime-store nympho.
The guys hit a popular bar looking for action and pick up two squealy, full-breasted foreign baubles (“Two blond sisters,” chortles Conlon, “who, importantly, don’t speak a word of English”).
Suddenly fate and reality intrude in the form of Conlon’s former girlfriend (the engaging, no-nonsense Marshall).
James Widdoes directs these characters as if they’re in a blender.
In turn, exec producer/writer Lon Diamond does negotiate moments of humor (Conlon rues the ex-flame who dragged him to “Fried Green Tomatoes”).
In real-life terms, there’s a scalding fight between the ex-lovers that rings unexpectedly true.
More characteristic is Conlon’s hypocritical “horny losers” curse on habitues of glitzy meat markets and his outburst against movies. “No more coming-of-age movies,” he wails, “no more subtitles, no more gender switching, no more musicals.” What about no more hormonal sitcoms?
(Sun. (4), 9:30-10 p.m., Fox)
Production: Filmed in Los Angeles by Twentieth TV Prods. Executive producer, Lon Diamond; producer, Tim Steele; director, James Widdoes; writer, Diamond.
Crew: Camera, Tony Yarlett; editor, Mike Gavaldon; production design, Bruce Ryan; music, Ed Alton.
Cast: Cast: Tim Conlon, Paul Rudd, Paula Marshall, Jana Marie Hupp, Karri Turner, Tamara Olson, Christine Cavanaugh.
A Review from the Deseret News
`WILD OATS' IS WILDLY VULGAR, IRRESPONSIBLE
By Scott D. Pierce, Television Editor
Published: September 2, 1994 12:00 am
Fox's "Wild Oats" isn't quite the worst new show of the season, but it is the most offensive.
Not only is it tasteless and vulgar, but it's downright irresponsible. The four twentysomething characters in this sitcom are not only obsessed with sex, but in the Age of AIDS have not only no moral compunctions but no common sense."Wild Oats," which debuts Sunday at 8:30 p.m. on Ch. 13, is about two chums who share an apartment - Jack (Tim Con-lon), a remarkably unattractive young man cast as a lady killer; and Brian (Paul Stephen Rudd), a sweet guy who occasionally demonstrates some degree of maturity but who isn't above casual sex himself.
On the other side, there's Shelly (Paula Marshall), a gorgeous school teacher who had a long-term affair with Jack but who is now interested in Brian - even though she isn't over Jack. And her friend Liz (Jana Marie Hupp) is a hairdresser who's more than a bit man-hungry.
In the opening minute of the show viewers learn that Jack's idea of a great date is "anonymous sex with some cheap girl who doesn't eat too much."
And that Liz is upset because they guy she just dated hasn't phoned, to which Shelly replies, "You sleep with a guy on the first date and you wonder why he doesn't call you back?"
Later in the show, Jack remarks that Shelly's "only redeeming quality is that she's good in bed."
This is a juvenile show that, unfortunately, is aimed largely at juveniles. The guys are obsessed with breast size. The girls are rather loose, to say the least.
While waiting for their dates at a singles bar, Brian remarks on how desperate everyone looks, to which Jack's response is far too tasteless to repeat in a family newspaper (although it's been in Fox promos for the show that have been airing for weeks).
Their dates turn out to be a pair of buxom Eastern European women - characters ripped off from Steve Martin and Dan Aykroyd's "Wild and Crazy Guys" - who announce that "We came here to drink and have sex!"
When Jack's date asks if they can get together again, he says, "Well, only if we can have another superficial, let's-have-sex-and-very-little-else kind of night."
To which she responds enthusiastically, "OK!"
It's not just that "Wild Oats" is so tacky, it's the utter lack of social responsibility. There's not even a mention of any safe-sex practices.
"Wild Oats" more than glamorizes casual sex - it makes it appear to be something to seek after.
And in an age when such behavior can be deadly, it should have occurred to someone along the way that there's something wrong here.
NEW "STAR TREK" CAPTAIN: As has long been rumored, the captain of the starship on the new "Star Trek: Voyager" series will be a woman.
But contrary to widespread reports, it won't be Lindsay Wagner of "Bionic Woman" fame.
(How many of us are heaving big sighs of relief?)
Instead, French actress Genevieve Bujold will be sitting in the captain's chair on the bridge of the Voyager when the series debuts in January on the new United Paramount Network - and on KJZZ-Ch. 14 locally.
(Since Englishman Patrick Stewart played a French captain on "Next Generation," maybe Bujold's commanding officer should be British.)
For more on Wild Oates go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_Oats_(TV_series)
To watch a 1994 FOX Promo go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjOvr1z2ZF8
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Keywords: The Cast of Wild Oates