Picks and Pans Review: Heart's Island
Usually when you see a failed pilot for a show, you have to admit that the network had taste—enough taste not to make it into a series. Not true here. Heart's Island looks wonderfully new by trying to look old. It's different, and that's probably why it didn't get picked up as a series. The show is staged with an audience you can see and hear. It's set in the '50s, in a new housing development in Shreveport, La. Dorothy (All My Children) Lyman plays a widow raising two kids. She works hard running a seamstress business at home and waiting tables at night. Business is picking up. "We have done it!" she declares. "We're finally middle class." Then she rents out her garage to Gary (WKRP in Cincinnati) Sandy, a bitter veteran and handsome grease monkey. And her daughter, Tammy Jean, gets polio. The show looks at racism, at the birth of the suburbs, at hard-working America 30 years ago. All that in a half-hour, but it fits. The people are real and so are the laughs. It shoulda been a contender.