Sinister, Baum House, at the Athenaeum Theatre. Tapping into the compulsion that weekly drew millions to Melrose Place, Andrew O’Brien has created a serial drama with intertwining plotlines, tortured characters, and a good dose of suspense. Story number one features lesbian couple Amy and Rachael (Sarah Morello and Nicole Bond), who are experiencing obvious relationship strain. PMS? Seems like it. But as it turns out Rachael’s nerves are frayed because she’s being stalked. By whom? Find out next week! The second story revolves around TV Boy (Sean Sweeney), who was abandoned in an electronics store as a child; his only emotional connection is to the television screen. His fate too is uncertain: doctors want to save him while evil scientists see him as the ultimate lab rat. As last week’s lights went down, TV Boy was kissing his nurse–who’s a spy for the scientists! Stay tuned!

O’Brien, who created the 1999 Baum House serial (Kill the Haviland Ladder), clearly has a handle on the episodic format. But he might take a cue from the Melrose writers and add a bit more action (the stalking thread was seriously underplayed). After all, an adrenaline roller coaster is part of the hook. The show has a lively pace, however, and a diverse, competent cast. Starting at 9:30 and running just 40 minutes, this makes a tasty after-dinner treat.