Picks and Pans Review: American Playhouse: Haunted
PBS (Tuesday, March 20, 9 p.m. ET)
Brooke Adams is a great pleasure to watch. In two hours of Haunted, she packs in more passion and drama than she could in five hours of Lace. Her acting here is more sophisticated and subtle and so is the show—but then, this is PBS, not a network miniseries. That does not mean, however, that it's dull; there's no shortage of sleaze. Trish (Day of the Dolphin) Van Devere plays a remarkably authentic screaming shrew, the almost-ex-wife of nice guy Jon DeVries ("I wouldn't want to be married to me," Trish says) and the mother of an understandably neurotic child, Ari Meyers (also in Kate & Allie). Brooke leaves her wife-beating husband, then becomes entangled with Trish and her kid. An abandoned, unhappy child herself, Brooke tries to rescue Ari from her miserable mother ("When I was a kid," she says, "I wished I were dead"), watches Trish go crazy ("You've got to be put away!") and lets Trish attempt suicide. Oh, what a tangled web they weave. This is riveting television.
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