Picks and Pans Review: Cosmic Slop

updated 11/07/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/07/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

HBO (Tues., Nov. 8, 10 p.m. ET)

B

This three-segment program is described as a sort of "multicultural Twilight Zone" by its creators, the black filmmakers Reginald and Warrington Hudlin. Each segment uses a Twilight Zone-like twist to discuss issues of the day; they're tied together with appearances by funk musician George Clinton as the narrator, with mixed success. The first tale, starring Robert Guillaume as a presidential adviser, speculates about what would happen if space aliens offered to take care of all the world's problems if the U.S. gave them its African-American population. The second story features Nicholas Turturro (NYPD Blue) as a priest whose Christian beliefs collide with the arrival of a pagan god. The third depicts the struggle between a black woman and her abusive boyfriend.

Each segment begins with an intriguing premise, but there is little payoff. It's nice that the Hudlins don't try to hammer home their points, but the ambiguous storytelling gets frustrating. The segments end right where you wish they'd begin.

(David Hiltbrand is on vacation.)

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