Picks and Pans Review: Dolly

updated 10/12/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/12/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

ABC (Sundays, 9 p.m. ET)

D

Don't hate Dolly. She'll always be just as sweet as her voice. No, blame it on the genre. Old-fashioned variety shows disappeared for good reason—they deserved to; they were dumb, dorky and downright unbearable. Dolly's show is no exception. In only one moment of her premiere did we see the Dolly we love: With a close-harmony quartet behind her, she sang a lovely little song, then giggled. Ya wanna hug her. But the rest is filled with skits that wouldn't cut it in a ladies auxiliary talent show, mawkish musical arrangements, awkward chats with guest stars, copious costume changes, overheated smoke machines and platitudes plagiarized from crocheted samplers: "I never stopped tryin' and I never tried stoppin'." Blech! But even after this assault, the variety show is not dead. No, it's alive and growing at this very hour on Sundays—on Tracey Ullman's show.

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