Marc D. Allan

You're just going to have to get your lesbian kiss scene and brief flash of a girl masturbating from some other show. When The Bedford Diaries premieres today (Wednesday, 9 p.m., WTTV-4), The WB television network apparently will have snipped those images.

The New York Times reported last week that the network, fearing an FCC fine, whacked what amounts to five seconds total from what they'd planned to air. (The WB has made the full show available at

But fear not, TV viewers - as far as I know, there's still male butt crack, a silhouetted erect female nipple and banter like:

Him (innocently): "I'm very anal."

Her (suggestively): "Anal's fine by me."

So cover the kids' eyes or let 'em watch something violent because there's lots of sex and sex talk in The Bedford Diaries.

The series, co-created by Tom Fontana (Homicide: Life on the Street and Oz), takes place at fictional New York City-based Bedford College, where professor Jake Macklin (Matthew Modine) teaches Sexual Behavior and the Human Condition. His students must keep a video diary of their thoughts and feelings about sex while answering questions like "How does your sexual past influence your sexual present and future?" and "What is the difference between love and sex?"

That leads to "profound" answers like "with sex, you need a condom and a pair of running shoes and with love, you need diapers and a bulletproof vest."

I watched two episodes of The Bedford Diaries, and I can't recommend it. Nor can I dismiss it outright. The cast members are generally charismatic and uniformly great looking (although to me Modine always looks like someone just kidnapped his puppy), and I don't remember a series that introduced its main characters so quickly and smoothly.

The show also has a Fontana trademark: great music. The first two episodes featured the Ramones, Guided By Voices and several songs I didn't recognize but really liked.

In the end, is that enough? Eh, probably not. The Bedford Diaries works as a nighttime soap opera, but if you're expecting insight, or anything remotely like real college life, don't. Unlike Felicity, The WB's last great stab at college life, these characters always know just what to say. They're ridiculously glib and wise beyond their years.

I'll probably continue to watch for a while, if only to see which former Homicide and Oz actors get work in this series. So far, I've counted three. Could be the next great drinking game.


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