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A&E

Live action sci-fi drama ‘Tower Prep’ should have been a cartoon

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Harry Potter called, he wants look - and Cho Chang - back.

The Details

Tower Prep
Two and a half stars
Cartoon Network, Tuesdays, 8 p.m.

The “cartoon” in Cartoon Network is more of a guideline than a requirement these days, and Tower Prep is the channel’s latest and most ambitious foray into live-action programming. The hour-long sci-fi drama was created by Paul Dini, a former writer-producer on Lost and various animated superhero TV series, with X-Files veteran Glen Morgan as an executive producer. It’s clearly working hard to straddle the line between kid-friendly adventure and something a little more substantial, but the pilot is too awkward and simplistic to get to that next level. There’s some potential in the idea of a sinister boarding school where teens with special abilities are mysteriously transported and kept against their will; it’s equal parts The Prisoner, X-Men and 90210. But Tower Prep fares poorly in comparison to its obvious influences, dragged down by subpar acting and cheesy special effects. It probably would have worked better as a cartoon.

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