Picks and Pans Review: Casanova

updated 03/02/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/02/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

ABC (Sun., March 1, 8 p.m. ET)

B-

What we have here is prime-time porn sanitized for your protection: no flesh, no sighs, no thighs. Just Richard Chamberlain as Casanova seducing every other woman in 18th-century Europe. He's performed similar amazing feats before, while wearing a clerical collar in The Thorn Birds and Japanese silk in Shogun; now he does it in a powdered wig and rouge. At the start, Casanova looks like a frothy farce. To escape a posse, Chamberlain leaps into a carriage carrying Faye Dunaway (in frightful black lipstick) and her two daughters, one of whom swoons at the mere sight of him. The women hide him, and Chamberlain wonders how to show his gratitude. Faye has a lewd suggestion. Even Casanova is shocked: "You mean to all three of you?" This could be a kick—and it is, until the story starts jumping around and getting confused. The show would have been better edited down from three hours to two; that also would have let them cut out Dunaway and Chamberlain's ritual of eternal youth—a scene that will haunt both of them for a long time.

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