Picks and Pans Review: Danielle Steel's a Perfect Stranger

updated 09/12/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/12/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

NBC (Mon., Sept. 12, 9 p.m. ET)

B+

The first network movie of the new season? A pulp romance starring Robert Urich. Perfect. It's nice to know that in this time of constant upheaval, there are certain verities on which one can depend.

A beautiful but sad young woman (Stacy Haiduk, a nonreturnee this year to seaQuest DSV) is devoted to her wealthy, elderly husband (Darren McGavin), who is an invalid. They live in a mansion in San Francisco. But every morning as she works in her garden, a dashing, divorced lawyer (Urich) casts her meaningful looks as he slowly jogs up Nob Hill. They begin an illicit affair. Ah, but Fate—as she always is to Steel's lovers—is a fickle mistress, sometimes benevolent, sometime cruel.

I've seen scores of these love-triumphant TV movies. The selfsame sap runs through this tree as through the whole blasted forest. Yet this film is oddly refined and charming.

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