Picks and Pans Main: Video

updated 08/18/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/18/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT



These hour-long tapes could be useful in planning a trip, or organizing your slide show if you've forgotten which edifice that is in your 74th French church picture. The videos are hosted by TV travel expert Laura McKenzie, who's given to belaboring the obvious: "French is spoken in France." Her camera-persons have a lot of time to seek out their vantage points, so the tapes also tend to idealize the sights they discuss, whether it's the mountains of Kauai or the Seine. Seeing these attractions in person under less ideal circumstances might be a letdown. Still, McKenzie offers information aimed at bargain-seeking tourists as well as profligate ones, and these are not just hype-mongering travelogues. McKenzie points out, for instance, that valuables have to be protected against thievery on the beach at Waikiki and warns visitors to Paris about rude waiters. While it's hard to maintain a balance between appetite-whetting and overexposing, McKenzie generally shows just enough to let a viewer know whether he wants to see more. The tapes, expanded from two-minute travel segments McKenzie syndicates, are part of a series of 12 cassettes that cover such spots as Los Angeles, Athens and Morocco. (Republic, each $24.95)

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