Picks and Pans Review: Kids Don't Tell

updated 03/04/1985 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/04/1985 AT 01:00 AM EST

CBS (Tuesday, March 5, 9 p.m. ET)

Midway through Kids Don't Tell, Michael (Making Love) Ontkean—playing a filmmaker who's producing a documentary about child abuse—takes his camera to the streets of L.A. He focuses on a woman running a center for runaway kids as she says: "One of the networks is already doing a movie of the week on our director." That's just the problem. Lately there's hardly a trauma that hasn't been turned into a drama of the week. The medium is overloaded with messages. So to be heard above this depressing din, each new movie has to be better than the last. Kids Don't Tell isn't. Its message certainly is worthwhile: Like a recent Webster and Henry Winkler's Strong Kids, Safe Kids videotape, Kids Don't Tell teaches children how to run away from strangers, how to sense affection turning into molestation. But the drama surrounding that message is weak; the victims and the victimizers in Kids Don't Tell come across as convenient composites, not characters.

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