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Crusoe

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Woe is Defoe. Rather than bother with his novel, the producers of this swashbuckling series settle instead for pastiche—a little Lost; a lot of Pirates of the Caribbean; sideswipes of Indiana Jones, I Spy, and Hook; even a Count of Monte Cristo vibe. Robinson, stranded on a desert island despite the squarest jaw and whitest teeth since Dick Tracy, is played by Philip Winchester. Friday, the former cannibal who assists him in a Neverland of tree houses and fruit-juice squeezers, is played by Tongayi Chirisa. There are scurvy pirates, Spanish soldiers, buried treasure, tedious chase scenes, misty flashbacks, and a vamp (Mia Maestro). But Leslie Fiedler’s take on Mark Twain in “Come Back to the Raft Ag’in, Huck Honey” comes to mind. Like Huck and Jim, or Ishmael and Queequeg, Crusoe and Friday embody the triumph of homoerotic male bonding over the steeps of race, culture, and ethnicity.

NBC
Fridays, 9 p.m.


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