THE SHOW "Deadly Affairs," premieres Saturday at 10 p.m. on ID
REASON TO WATCH Who knows lurid love better than daytime diva Erica Kane?
WHAT IT'S ABOUT After portraying Kane since "All My Children's" 1970 debut, Susan Lucci lost her lifetime gig when ABC axed the soap last year. But our Garden City girl bounces back here, with a vengeance.
She's the cooing narrator of two weekly "dramatizations" of messy real-life murders among cheating lovers. Lucci even launches the premiere on-screen by lolling on a poolside chaise longue while eyeing studly male servants. Can she give new meaning to breathy intonations like "quiver"?
ID hopes so, since Lucci's voice-over carries the storytelling weight, as silent re-creations share the screen with real-life snapshots, "actual" police tapes and the occasional interview with a local reporter, prosecutor or suspicious neighbor.
MY SAY Have we seen this before? I dunno, have you seen "Snapped" or "Deadly Women" or "Dates From Hell" or "Suburban Secrets" or "I Married a Mobster" or -- yes, they're everywhere, these tabloid tales of toxic trysts and Love Gone Wrong.
Which is, in fact, the umbrella title of the ID channel's Wednesday night lineup of which "Mobster" is a part, along with "Dirty Little Lies" and "Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry?" Why La Lucci's little series isn't there, too -- again, I dunno. At least ID has her ensconced Saturdays between "Happily Never After" and "Wicked Attraction."
Lucci can sigh soapy scripts in her sleep. "Heavens, I love a wedding as much as the next girl," she purrs when a Pennsylvania funeral director and his married mistress plot their nuptials the very same day the guy's wife is found dead. "But mere hours before committing murder?" Lucci demurs. "This is pushing it, even for me."
And "Deadly Affairs" is pushing it, even for true-crime die-hards. There's little here that hasn't been dramatized to death already. And having spent to lure Lucci, not to mention provide her such pithy patter, the producers' attention wanders when it comes to their re-creations. They just look cheesy. (And not in a good way.)
BOTTOM LINE Please, TV, pretty please -- give Susan Lucci her soap back!