Sunday, May 27, 2007

Hidden Palms - May 26, 2007



Still a peach of a pair

Gail O'Grady and Sharon Lawrence were
memorable on NYPD Blue. Now, they're back
together in the mysterious confines of Hidden Palms.

By Eric Kohanik

There’s a great little TV reunion that takes place on the screen in Hidden Palms, a kitschy new mystery-drama series that makes its way to the tube this week.

It’s a reunion that involves two of my favourite actresses: Gail O’Grady and Sharon Lawrence

The two co-stars actually worked together “60 years ago,” O’Grady quips, during the early years of NYPD Blue. That series featured Lawrence as Sylvia Costas, a tough prosecutor who clashed with – and later fell for – world-weary police detective Andy Sipowicz (Dennis Franz). 

O’Grady, meanwhile, attracted plenty of attention for her role as Donna Abandando, the buxom, poofy-haired precinct receptionist during the show’s first few seasons. 

The actresses have followed different career paths since those days. O’Grady spent three seasons as wife and mother Helen Pryor on a nostalgic drama called American Dreams. She followed that with a rather short-lived run in an unsuccessful real-estate-office sitcom called Hot Properties

In between, O’Grady has chalked up anumber of memorable guest stints, including a two-episode turn on Two and a Half Men last season and a recurring run this season as Gloria Weldon, the super-hot judge who has a tough time keeping her hands, or other body parts, away from lawyer Alan Shore (James Spader) on Boston Legal.

As for Lawrence, her career journey has included TV movies and series appearances, too. Among them was a onetime guest shot on Boston Legal and a recurring turn on Desperate Housewives as Maisy Gibbons, the randy suburbanite whose sordid encounters with Rex Van De Camp (Steven Culp) ended up putting him in the hospital.

Hidden Palms is a dark, mystery-filled drama fuelled by suicide, scandal and murder. The brainchild of Dawson’s Creek producer Kevin Williamson, it focuses lots of energy on contrasting the idyllic resort lifestyle of Palm Springs, Calif., with dark secrets that lurk beneath its facade.

There are also plenty of nubile young bodies romping around all over the screen.

O’Grady and Lawrence play two very different mothers of teenaged boys wrapped up in the mystery. Unlike NYPD Blue, in which they rarely had scenes together, Hidden Palms gives the two seasoned actresses plenty of opportunities to interact onscreen. 

“On this show, we’re actually good pals,” Lawrence says. “I get to wear the big hair and she’s the one who looks as if she has a bit more reasonable sense in her brain.” 

O’Grady, meanwhile, was simply happy about “working with another actor that you respect.” It was an added plus, she says, to work with “an old buddy” as well.

“To have an opportunity to get onto the same cast for another show?” O’Grady says. “We were thrilled.”

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