Picks and Pans Review: The Paper Chase: Graduation

updated 08/11/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/11/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Showtime (Sat., Aug. 9, 9 p.m. ET)

B +

In a movie version, in a yearlong run on CBS and in three years on Showtime, The Paper Chase almost did the impossible: It almost made lawyers likable. But all good tries must come to an end, so the time has come for John Houseman as Prof. Kingsfield to give his students the degree they got the old-fashioned way: They earned it. In this final two-hour episode, James Stephens, as the ever honorable James T. ("Mr. Haaaaht") Hart, finds himself pursued by employers in the highest echelons of the law biz—including his own venerable school. James Keane, as the ever tense and tubby Mr. Bell, introduces his parents to Kingsfield. Lainie Kazan, as a middle-age student, teaches her peers about human decency. And everybody reminisces. Paper Chase is one of those series so good that it deserves a special farewell episode. Most times those adieus are disappointing (witness M*A*S*H), but not this one; the last Paper Chase is as low key as the series. So now it's time to do something even tougher with a show made for the '80s. It's time for somebody to try to make MBAs likable. Call it The Money Chase.

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