fans hoping Jarod (Michael T. Weiss
) and Miss Parker (Andrea Parker
) will stop pretending they don't want each other and get it on in TNT's reunion telepic, The Pretender 2001
(premiering Monday, 8 pm ET/PT), are bound to be frustrated. Although the enemies do finally share a liplock it won't take place until the follow-up film airs later this year.
"I think it's only natural that [viewers] want the hero and the villain/heroine to get together," Parker tells TV Guide Online, hinting that the groundwork for the long-awaited smooch will be laid in Monday night's two-hour flick. "The theme for Miss Parker is loyalty, or lack there of. Her relationship with her father, her relationship with The Centre, her relationship with Jarod all of those relationships are intensely addressed and, in a sense, transitioned and resolved."
Well, considering it's a small miracle that The Pretender is alive at all, fans are not likely to gripe about having to wait a little longer for their favorite non-couple to hook up. Last season, NBC unexpectedly cancelled the four-year-old series without giving writers a chance to script a fitting farewell. Notes Parker: "They were really upset about having to leave their characters on the subway tracks."
The show's passionate followers were outraged, and quickly engineered an Internet campaign to save the program. TNT, clearly feeling their pain (and eyeing a potentially lucrative franchise), acquired rights to air two and possibly more Pretender TV movies.
"It's the loyalty of the fans who have given us our success, no doubt," Parker insists matter-of-factly, adding that the films will focus more on the show's ongoing mythology as opposed to Jarod's numerous impersonations. "We're actually going to answer some questions that we have inspired over the last few seasons. And even more so in the second film."
What's more, the new Pretender will showcase more elaborate effects and look more like a feature film than a TV series. "It's a much bigger, more dynamic feel to it," Parker explains. "It's actually been shot in letterbox. Whether or not it will be able to air that way, I don't know. But the format and the film that we're using to shoot it... is definitely feature-film-worthy. It's visually going to be a really beautiful experience."
The entire cast of the original series returned for the two movies, which were shot back-to-back in Canada late last year. And although there are no concrete plans to explore Jarod and Miss Parker's relationship beyond the two upcoming installments, Parker advises diehards to stay close to their computers. "The door is left open [for more movies]," she says, "but that, again, will be left up to the fans."