Picks and Pans Review: Someone Else's Child

updated 12/05/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/05/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

ABC (Sun., Dec. 4, 9 p.m. ET)

C-

You want suffering? You got suffering. Lisa Hartman Black plays a saintly South Carolina woman who loses her rapscallion husband (Lorenzo Lamas wannabe Scott McNeil) to a wanton hussy.

As a result of the divorce proceedings, Black discovers that the boy she has raised devotedly for seven years is not really her own. Just when she's getting accustomed to the fact that the hospital's maternity ward has made a little mistake, she finds out that the child has a black father.

Suddenly she's surrounded by a swirl of ambulance chasers, insensitive reporters and censorious neighbors. The whole mess finally has her so frazzled that she even keeps forgetting to take her blood-pressure medicine.

That's the setup. Now here's the twist: Black is determined not only to get back her natural son (who has been adopted), she also wants to keep the boy she's got. Her ordeal makes for maudlin melodrama. Adequate acting by Black, Bruce Davison, Whip Hubley, Ken Pogue and Louise Fletcher improve the vacuous tone, but not enough.

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