Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What Might've Been: Dead at 21 (1994)

MTV first delved into scripted, non-reality-TV drama in 1994 with the short-lived Dead at 21, which didn't even survive the summer.

The plot basically welded together concepts from some popular shows of the 60's, such as The Fugitive and Run For Your Life, in that the protagonist, Ed Bellamy (Jack Noseworthy) has a year to live after discovering that he has a chip implanted into his head when he was just a baby, and unless he can find a way to get the chip out of his head, or if the people responsible for the chip find him first, he'll be dead on his 21st birthday, hence the title. To make matters worse, Ed has been framed for a murder he didn't commit.

Lisa Dean Ryan (ex-Doogie Howser, MD, Class of '96) co-starred as Ed's girlfriend, with Whip Hubley as the agent in pursuit of Ed.

Here's the open:

Noseworthy hasn't been heard from since the series ended. MTV seems to have learned from this misfire, as they successfully rebooted Teen Wolf into a gothic youth drama, contrary to the campy horror-comedy it was nearly 30 years ago.

Rating: C.

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