Total Recall 2070” (1999, Showtime) is two degrees removed from Philip K. Dick — a 22-episode reimagining of the 1990 movie adapted from Dick’s short story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale.” But actually, while it’s further from the story of “Wholesale” than the film is, it takes a step closer to an overall Dickian feel. The series sits at the aesthetic crossroads of “Blade Runner” and “Total Recall,” albeit on a tighter budget than those blockbuster films, and at the narrative intersection of “The X-Files” and “Star Trek.” It’s not unfair to call it just another one-season wonder from the ’90s SF boom, but PKD fans might find it to be a fascinating curiosity.
“Roadies” (10 p.m. Eastern Sundays on Showtime), the new series from Cameron Crowe, feels a little more like “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” or “Love Monkey” than it feels like “Almost Famous.” The pilot episode has more bark than bite; however, it’s better than, say, Crowe’s second-rate “Garden State” “Elizabethtown,” and the fact that it’s about the same subject as “Almost Famous” might allow him to recapture a bit of that old magic in upcoming episodes.
Next, here are my top 10 TV shows. Some started in the ’90s, but for this list, I am just showing the years they aired during this decade. This top 10 is front-loaded (the most recent shows ended three seasons ago), reflecting the downhill trend as the decade wore on.
Ellen Muth is one of the harder to categorize actresses out there. As George Lass — the audience-surrogate reaper on “Dead Like Me” — she went around with a depressive look all the time. Of course, that’s why I and other viewers liked her: She looked like we felt on our worst days. She also sounded like an old-woman smoker sometimes (I hope Muth doesn’t actually smoke).