Wild Palms

ABC (ended 1993)



User Score: 84

out of 10
User Rating
54 votes

By TV.com Users

Wild Palms

Show Summary

L.A. 2007: In a culture obsessed with chic and technology, the Wild Palms Network is offering the ultimate on television experience: mimecom, which creates virtual reality in your living room. Behind this invention is Tony Kreutzberg (Robert Loggia), senator, creative and all-around-cult object, who coined the term "Syntiothics" and began a cult. What does this man and his media emporium has to do with the lives of one Harry Wyckoff (James Belusihi) and his good-natured, even tempered wife, Grace (Dana Delany)? Harry is a patents attorney, Grace is a suburban housewife moonlightning as a fashion maven. She's the daughter of the impossibly chic and ultra-charismatic Josie Ito (Angie Dickinson), widow of a notable japanese businessman, and former wife of Eli Levitt (David Warner), a professor-turned-activist. The Wyckoffs have two children: Coty (Ben Savage), a 12-year-old child star with a mean temper and sweet 5-year-old Deirdre (Monica Makala), the "Little Buddha", whom wisely observes but yet has to utter a word. Not all is well in this happy household: Harry has been under a lot of stress lately, his increasingly life-like dreams concerning a Rhino in the pool are disturbing his marital life and his shrink isnot much help, meanwhile, Grace is subtly cracking at the edges, whilst all the hip angst starts piling up in her übermom fantasy and her intuition is going overdrive with fear. One sunny day, their nice lives will be disrupted: Harry will reacquaint himself with the alluring fille-fatale Paige Katz (Kim Cattrall), his erstwhile college sweetheart, who has many a shady trick up her designer sleeves, and Grace will hit it out with fabu superstar Tabba Schwartzkopf (Bebe Neuwirth), none other than the face of Church Windows. Soon, the Wyckoffs will find themselves immersed in a surreal secret war fought in the luminous California days, as slowly but implacably, a perverse conspiracy is taking form and the future is already here. Dream carefully...moreless
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  • This show was a real dud.

    I barely remember this show. But I do remember it was set in 2007 and everyone was supposed to have cool virtual reality rooms.

    Well ..... I demand to know....Where the heck is my virtual reality living room? All I got is a stupid X-BOX.

    2007 is nothing like Wild Palms.

    I guess I will be just as dissappointed when 2019 rolls around and I wont have my custom made Tyrell Industries Nexus 6 Replicant to boss around... and what about those "Off World Colonies"???? Huh? And in 2022, I also expect to see "Soylent Green" for sale and Soylent Yellow and Soylent Red a few years before that! Why is it the future never arrives on schedule? Wild Palms had star power up the wazoo but it was fatally flawed.moreless
  • Wild Palms: Days of Future Past

    If Twin Peaks opened the door to TV surrealism in the form of a prime-time soap (think Knot's Landing on heavy psychiatric drugs), a few years after its cancellation the surfacing of Wild Palms was even more potent, at least as far as the sense of surreal-TV goes.

    The bizarre saga of Laura Palmer generated a cult following despite dwindling ratings and scratched heads. Wild Palms, when first aired, was a mass failure: despite Oliver Stone's name on the credits almost no one I know knows it; now that it is out on DVD, perhaps in a few years Wild Palms will be hailed as the great work of art that it is, and become a hugely popular cult item. If you missed the series on television, you'd be wise to track down a copy now. (You might want to supplement your viewing with The Wild Palms Reader, which is probably difficult to find but well worth the search as a host of writers and artists--from Bruce Sterling to Spain Rodriguez to E. Howard Hunt to Lemmy of Motorhead--tie up some of the mini-series' loose ends, and typically add all sorts of new twists and mysteries.)

    Set in Los Angeles in the --ever closer now- year 2007, and based on Bruce Wagner's subversive comic-book, it has its roots more firmly stablished in tinseltown than in the notion of the future; this is not a Los Angeles populated by people in shiny silver space suits or the gloom-doom paradise of Blade Runner. Instead, the world bears an unsettling resmblance to the one we live in now; if anything, it takes us back a few decades, as most of the inhabitants listen to the Beach Boys and drive sleek '60s replicas, the fashions are very Liz Taylor-ish, and the Dickensian look is back on men. As a creative playground, Wild Palms is a feast for sore eyes.

    Broken down in the simplest terms, the story centres around two warring factions, the 'Fathers' and the 'Friends.' The Fathers are led by Senator Tony Kreutzer (Robert Loggia), who also owns Channel 3, a technologically dazzling propaganda factory. Kreutzer's ultimate goal is to invade the dreams of the entire population through virtual reality; in the words of his mistress, Paige Katz, "the Senator wants to kick-start himself into the cosmos." The Friends are an underground organization determined to keep their knowledge of the new technology out of the Senator's hands, and as things heat up they pledge to destroy the Senator and his network altogether. Harry Wyckoff (James Belushi), a patent lawyer hired by Senator Kreutzer, is the confused, well-meaning wildcard, the man in possession (though he doesn't know it) of the much sought-after Go-chip, the missing link in the Senator's bid to be immortal, "like Jesus."

    I'd need at least another 1,000 words to do Wild Palms' multilevelled story any justice at all, but like any great viewing experience, the series has much more to offer than a good--albeit confusing in spots--plot. There are tons of memorable characters and performances (you have to see Angie Dickinson strut her stuff to believe it), gorgeously streamlined photography, frightening special effects, plenty of violence (often psychological) which is hard to watch and even harder to ignore, dialogue that can only properly be described as poetry, and an overall hellish vision of the non-world we already sort-of inhabit (and certainly seem headed towards), and a wonderful rock and roll soundtrack.

    In a word: WOW!