Picks and Pans Review: I'll Take Manhattan

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

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

CBS (Sun.-Wed., March 1-4, 9 p.m. ET)


In the first few moments you learn what's going to happen in the next three nights of this four-night mini: Barry (George Washington) Bostwick, the self-made publisher of a magazine empire, is dead; his evil brother, Perry (Riptide) King, takes over the company and ruins its magazines with his greed; Barry's playgirl daughter, Valerie Bertinelli, declares war on Uncle Perry. The six hours that follow, although filled with sex scenes, are patently predictable and basically wasted, as the story flashes back about 40 years and then slowly creeps forward until those same opening scenes are repeated. There's a TV first: a show that comes with its own ready-made reruns. Finally, in Part Four, a gaggle of plot lines—affairs (straight and gay), illegitimate children, murder, assault, drugs, corporate intrigue, love and romance—gets compressed into a neat little package by this trash compactor. The script, taken from Judith Krantz's best-selling romance novel and produced by her husband, Steve, gives you an encyclopedia of clichés ("You wanted it all! The money! The power!") and even has the gall to steal the lobster scene from Annie Hall and make it into a cliché. The sex is strange: Even in Casanova I've never seen so many women shed their clothes without even being asked and throw their naked bodies on the nearest man and then—if scorned—throw themselves off the nearest ledge. As for the acting: I've seen better on Hotel.

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