Picks and Pans Review: The Fun and the Feel of the Fifties

updated 11/21/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/21/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

The Disney Channel (Tues., Nov. 22, 9 p.m. ET)

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Nostalgia doesn't get much more vivid than this time capsule of the 1950s. The clip-happy panorama, which concludes the following Tuesday, reels through the Korean War, Howdy Doody, Smokey the Bear, tract-house suburbs, Elvis, coonskin caps, Sputnik, the Edsel, and lots and lots of commercials. Some of the pieces are hilarious, such as Ron and Nancy Reagan filming an appliance endorsement while a befuddled young Patti looks on blankly.

Abjuring narration for a flood of chronological period footage—some familiar, some obscure—the special is surprisingly eloquent at capturing the garish, ingenuous, overstocked tenor of this decade.

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