Picks and Pans Review: American Playhouse: the Rise and Rise of Daniel Rocket

updated 01/20/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/20/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

PBS (Mon., Jan. 20, 9 p.m. ET)


American Playhouse, by far the best homemade series on PBS, gets off to an odd start this season with a twinkie version of Birdy, a strange little play about a boy who believes he can fly. Tom (Amadeus) Hulce does his endearing best to make you care for this 12-year-old "dork." And the play, by Peter Parnell, has its touching moments portraying the injustices of childhood. But it also has yawny lines like this: "Things just have a way of being the way they are." And besides, flying like a bird is the most overused symbolism this side of a crashing wave. A crash landing.

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