Picks and Pans Review: American Playhouse: Charley's Aunt

updated 05/11/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/11/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

PBS (Mon., May 11, 9 p.m. ET)

D

It's bad enough that PBS keeps giving us shows that make Brits look like twits. Now American Playhouse—once my favorite PBS series—has started doing likewise to us Americans. The season has been filled so far with Southerners made to look cute, quaint and fuzzy, like a bunch of crocheted golf-club covers in a souvenir shop. Worse, this week Playhouse imports an insufferably twinkie, 95-year-old British farce and drag show and sets it in the U.S. In Charley's Aunt, Charles (Ishtar) Grodin impersonates a Yalie's aunt and chaperons a college date. As dated as an icebox. Next season, I pray that Playhouse will get back the hard edge it had in Concealed Enemies, Three Sovereigns for Sarah, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and so many other great shows.

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