Picks and Pans Review: American Playhouse: the Roommate

updated 01/27/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/27/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

PBS (Mon., Jan. 27, 9 p.m. ET)

B

John Updike's stories are filled with the kind of people you hope can't make it to your family reunion. This light drama, based on an Updike story, gives us two such young men: Lance (The Last Starfighter) Guest is a handsome but humorless goody-two-wing-tips from North Dakota who enters Northwestern University in 1952. Barry (Biloxi Blues) Miller is a precocious child of the '60s in the '50s, a draft dodger, philosopher, vegetarian and fan of yoga. They are roommates who can't stand but eventually learn to understand each other. Awwwww. The show is better at portraying its times—the dusk of innocence among American youth—than it is at giving you an intriguing plot. The Roommate is little more than a charming period piece, but that's all it tries to be.

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