Picks and Pans Review: Kay O'brien

UPDATED 09/29/1986 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 09/29/1986 at 01:00 AM EDT

CBS (Thurs., Sept. 25, 10 p.m. ET)


Kay O'Brien syndrome is a rare disease, one so contagious it can be transmitted through any ordinary TV set. The symptoms: queasiness of the stomach, involuntary rolling of the eyes, chronic sighs and—worst of all—a sudden fear of doctors. Do not watch this show while operating heavy machinery; it causes severe drowsiness. Kay O'Brien, played by Patricia Kalember, is a surgeon, a woman trying to operate in a man's world. She's painted as a sensitive doc, a wiz at bedside manner, a wonder with kids, everybody's buddy, "Kay O' " to the sick. But when she screws up an operation, Dr. O'Brien cares only about saving her skin and not a whit about saving her patient. Keep your scalpel away from me, Doc. Worse, she's another TV yuppie. She wants money but complains about working for it. "Some doctors carry little black bags," she moans. "I'm wearing mine under my eyes." (The show's only good line. But I think I've heard it before.) And she talks about relationships too much. When her lawyer-lover moves out because Kay O' is always operating, she whines: "A man can have a career and a relationship. Is it too much to ask for a woman?" A legitimate question, Kay O', but one that's been asked just that way on every other Donahue ever made. The cure for Kay O'Brien syndrome: Take two aspirin and cancel in the morning.

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