Picks and Pans Review: American Playhouse
PBS (Wed., Feb. 17, 9 p.m. ET)
Playhouse presents two shows with one thing in common: They're both dumb and dorky.
The Revolt of Mother is the story of a marriage in that unhappy time before feminism and divorce. It's 1890 and Amy (Places in the Heart) Madigan plays a farm wife who gets mad when her rude husband builds a barn instead of a new house. So she moves into that barn. Give her points for pluck but none for entertainment. Grade: C-
Pigeon Feathers, an adaptation of a John Updike story, is a remedial Sunday school lesson. Christopher (Manhattan Project) Collet plays a teen obsessed with death, a sort of WASPy, wimpy, white-soxed, humorless and aggressively unintelligent Woody Allen. "What is the soul?" he asks his grandma, who shrugs and looks it up in the dictionary. Then Collet learns about life, death and the universe when he shoots some pigeons and discovers that they are beautiful creations of God, albeit dead ones. This is theology for the IQ-of-under-10 set. Grade: F
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