Picks and Pans Review: Highway to Heaven

updated 09/24/1984 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/24/1984 01:00AM

NBC (Wednesdays, 8 p.m. ET)

Premiere: Wednesday, Sept. 19, 8 p.m. ET "Who's your boss?" the tough galoot asks Michael Landon. "God," he replies. And he means it. For Michael (Little House on the Prairie) Landon is nothing if not perpetually sincere. He plays an angel sent to earth to help the little folks—and the network with the littlest ratings, while he's at it—with his wholesome parade of platitudes: "Nothing's free in this world, pal," an ornery old coot tells Landon. "Kindness is," Landon says. "The world stinks," a drunk kvetches. "Only if we make it stink," Landon replies. The little folks in the premiere are old ones in a home that's about to be closed. Landon comes to bring sunshine and syrup into their lives and to save their home. While he's at it, he cures a drunk, Victor French, who then joins Landon on travels to other travails. So with a sincere Hi-yo, Silver, it's off into the sunset for Landon and his loyal sidekick as the locals wonder, "Who was that hairstyled man?" He actually says it: "It's time for me to ride off in the sunset." There's nothing wrong with Highway: It's decent, moral, family fare that's better produced and better for you than Hunter or The A-Team. Like chicken soup, it goes down easy, but it's not a meal to remember.

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