By Alan Pergament
I probably should recuse myself and not review the new NBC drama "Crisis" that premieres at 10 tonight on Channel 2.
You see one of the stars is a relative of mine.
He's playing a brainiac in a high school class loaded with the children of very important politicans, intelligence gatherers and business powers in Washington, D.C.
He knows that he doesn't fit in because he is so smart and he is a bit overweight.
OK, I'm being a bit kind there. Some dialogue in the script says he is "a fat kid."
I thought that was kind of mean even before I learned the actor is a relative.
He has a pretty big part as the one student hostage, Anton Roth, who escapes from a hijacked bus with the help of a courageous Secret Service agent who is surprised by his intelligence, moved by his insecurities and determined to alleviate his fears.
I've never met the kid who plays Anton. His name is Joshua Erenberg. He's the grandson of one of my first cousins. I haven't seen my cousin in 20 years or more. I did visit her late father, Victor Pergament, about a decade ago in California. He was the brother of my late father Joe.
I remember Uncle Vic was an a local theater actor in Brooklyn so I'm sure he would be very proud of his great-grandson Joshua.
This isn't Joshua's first rodeo. I went on the webste IMDb and learned that Joshua is 13 and played a young Seth Rogen in "The Green Hornet." It was good casting. I can see the likeness -- before Rogen lost all his excess weight. He also could pass for a young Jonah Hill -- before Hill lost all his excess weight.
Joshua also has been in a bunch of TV shows including ABC's "Suburgatory" and TNT's "Franklin & Bash"' and the 2013 movie "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone" that had an incredible cast including Steve Carell, Jim Carrey and James Gandolfini. He played Gandolfini's son.
The cast of "Crisis'" isn't half bad, either. Gillian Anderson of "The X-Files," Dermot Mulroney and James Lafferty of "One Tree Hill" are the best-known names in a cast that is loaded with beautiful people playing the students of slightly older beautiful people.
One of the beautful people plays Anderson's sister, who may be the best-looking FBI agent I've ever seen. The actress is named Rachael Taylor. The two sisters don't get along very well. You'll sort of find out why when a twist is revealed at the end of tonight's compelling pilot.
Oh, I guess I just broke my vow to recuse myself. The truth is I liked "Crisis," despite its sappy dialogue and some very improbable moments. It has a couple of decent twists. And did I mention there are a lot of pretty cast members to look at? There are so many pretty people that this could be a CW series.
But then again, how could I not like a show that stars Uncle Vic's great-grandson.
Besides, I've been thinking a lot about my roots lately.
This surprises me since I never really got into Lisa Kudrow's NBC genealogy series, "Who Do You Think You Are?"
I guess I owe it to my brother, who actually started looking for two cousins on the internet that we haven't seen in decades.
He was especially interested in finding another first cousin, Sybil. He told me he had a funny story to tell after he found out what had happened in her life. I usually hate it when people tell you that they have a funny story because invariably it ends up in disappointment. But my brother isn't prone to exaggeration.
He said he googled Sybil Kleinrock -- Kleinrock was my maternal grandmother's name -- and learned that... Well, I'll let my brother Stu tell the story via an edited email sent to me because he is a good storyteller.
"I remember Sybil being very funny and an aspiring artist. The last time I saw her was at my grandmother's funeral and she told me that she had had trouble finding herself. Sybil would be about my age -- within a year. I decided to do a quick google of our cousins with the thought of possibly reaching out to them to learn more about the Kleinrocks. When I googled Sybil, I got a very quick hit. In essence saying that she was an artist, met this guy named David who was a jewelry designer, they attended a party and someone wanted to buy a necklace she was wearing. She refused but she convinced David that there was a real business opportunity and that he should design more and start a company. The David is.... David Yurman. I looked at images of Sybil Kleinrock -- now Yurman -- and it is definitely her. I remember her well . She looks like my mother's sister."
You might have had the same initial reaction to this story as I did: Who the heck is David Yurman? I told my brother that I wasn't a jewelry expert and -- as they say on "Jeopardy" -- more information was required if I was going to understand what was so funny about the story.
He told me that every woman I know would know who David Yurman is, that David and Sybil's company is the gold standard of jewelry design.
Sure enough, every woman I know does know who David Yurman is.
Relatively speaking, I felt pretty stupid for not knowing.
I've since googled him and learned that Brad Pitt wore David Yurman jewels earlier this month at the Oscars and several actresses at the event also were wearing his jewelry.
I even imagine that every powerful woman on "Crisis" just might be wearing David Yurman jewelry tonight, too.
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