Picks and Pans Review: Try to Remember

06/27/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

CBS (Thurs., June 23, 8 p.m. ET)


To say "CBS is living in the past" is to engage in over-obvious understatement along the lines of "Elvis is dead" and "the Pope is not Presbyterian." Twice this week, CBS slaps us in the face with cobwebs—once in Blue Skies, reviewed below, and once in this pilot for a news-nostalgia series. Try to Remember is an exercise in backward thinking on many levels. First, it is an attempt to re-create the mood of Walter Cronkite's 1953 series, You Are There. Second, and even more senseless, it is an attempt to copy Linda Ellerbee's 1986 flop, Our World. Third and most obvious, Remember is about the past, with host Charles Kuralt narrating pieces on news from one August week of 1969: The Apollo 11 astronauts left isolation, proving they had caught no unearthly Moon bugs. Violence hit Northern Ireland. Black voters won in an Alabama county. Hurricane Camille. Woodstock. Nostalgia is a personal matter—the Janis Joplin song that simmers up warm feelings in my soul may leave you cold. But shows like these try to force-feed nostalgia: "You fondly remember this week in 1969, RIGHT!?" So I say that such shows are a bad idea. And this is a bad idea badly executed. It is confusing—the show talks to a woman who was in isolation with the astronauts, but we don't know why she was there. It is poorly organized. It is just musty and stale. But lest we leave CBS back in broadcasting Brigadoon, let's point out that Remember and Blue Skies are not on the network's fall schedule. (But Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke are.)

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