Picks and Pans Review: Japan

updated 04/04/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/04/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

PBS (Mon., April 4, 9 p.m. ET)


Jane Seymour's better role of the week, by far, is her appearance as hostess of a fascinating four-part documentary series about Japan. This is not a twinkie travelogue or one of those shallow little movies you used to see in social studies class. Japan is an intelligent, sophisticated and entertaining view of a complex culture. The show is not afraid to look at the minuses as well as the pluses of Japanese life—at how such an ordered society produces little crime today but how it was responsible for terrible brutality in World War II. The show also does a wonderful job of explaining how Japan acquired some of its cultural traits: adherence to rules, group psychology and attention to detail. The first part may start slowly, but stick with it and you'll see one super series.

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