Picks and Pans Review: Mayflower Madam

updated 11/16/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/16/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

CBS (Sun., Nov. 15, 9 p.m. ET)

C-

One minute Candice Bergen tries to make Sydney Biddle Barrows—the New York socialite deb arrested as a madam in 1984—look like Judy Garland in a Mickey Rooney movie, all perky and pure as she tells a girlfriend, "We should start our own service." Escort service, that is. Shop-at-home sex. The next minute Bergen tries to make Barrows look like just another businesswoman with an MBA (Master of Brothel Administration?). Mayflower can't decide what to make of its subject and no wonder, because the real Barrows is hanging around, playing associate producer and even making a cameo appearance. The show can't get enough distance from Barrows to judge her—as a twit or a kicky trash queen or a Yuppie who'll do anything for money. There's neither fun nor fury here, only a bland recitation of Barrows' rationalizations: "Show me any business," she says, "where there's no sex involved." And show me any movie that's ever made sex and scandal look so dull.

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