Teenagers should rebel against 'Life'

What would you get if you combined the libidinous idiocy of an "American Pie" comedy with the smug seriousness of "My So Called Life"? It would have to look something like the pilot for "Life as We Know It" (8 p.m., ABC), a drama-comedy that manages to be vulgar and pretentious at the same time.

"Life" is about teenagers. But they're like no teens I've ever known. These characters appear to have been lobotomized by mad scientists who have removed every part of their brains not associated with sex. We hear characters talk to each other about sex. And since this is an "arty" show, they turn to the camera and talk to us directly about sex, too.

There was a time when minority groups were depicted only in demeaning stereotypes. Then they organized and put political and economic pressure on Hollywood. Perhaps it's time for teenagers to form their own anti-defamation league. That might put an end to shows like "Life" that cast teens as simplistic cartoon characters.

Tonight's other highlights

¢ Another elimination on "Survivor: Vanuatu, Islands of Fire" (7 p.m., CBS).

¢ Major League Baseball divisional playoffs (7 p.m., Fox).

¢ An elevator encounter with a mysterious stranger on "Will & Grace" (7:30 p.m., NBC).

¢ Improvisations and effects abound on the new series "Drew Carey's Green Screen Show" (7:30 p.m., WB), not available for review.

¢ Vegas floods on "CSI" (8 p.m., CBS).


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