Picks and Pans Review: Amerika

updated 03/09/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/09/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

ABC (already aired)

Now that the ordeal is over, I have to say that Amerika renewed my faith in the nation. The show didn't do that. The audience did. We were open-minded enough to give Amerika a try—almost a quarter of homes watched the first night. But by the next-to-last night, less than a sixth still tuned in. We rejected ABC's irresponsible effort to rev up ratings with hype and hatred and refused to follow this Pied Piper of propaganda and promotion. We are not suckers. We have taste. In phone-in radio shows and on-the-street eavesdropping, I heard one adjective consistently applied to Amerika: boring. In the end, I agree. After the first eight hours, I stopped caring what happened to these characters because they never developed—and neither did the plot. The show turned repetitious, padded and sloppy—not bothering to hide summertime green leaves while actors shivered in winter scenes and never bothering to explain what's so wrong with the state of our union. Amerika was one long-winded speech that never got to the point. It was not only boring but also bankrupt: a medium without a message. Though I still give Sam Neill, Christine Lahti, Cindy Pickett and Robert Urich A's for effort, I give Amerika a grade of: D

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