Picks and Pans Review: Amazing Grace

UPDATED 04/03/1995 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 04/03/1995 at 01:00 AM EDT

NBC (Saturdays, 8 p.m. ET)

C+

Patty Duke is a newly ordained and unconventional minister—a divorced, former drug addict. She's also a hospital chaplain and parent to a hormonally supercharged teenage girl (Marguerite Moreau) and a rambunctious boy (Justin Garms). Between those responsibilities she has an opportunity to counsel and succor a real cross section of humanity. The solid supporting cast includes Dan Lauria (The Wonder Years), Joe Spano (Hill Street Blues) and Lorraine Toussaint (Law & Order).

No one can put on a look of pained concern quite like Duke. In fact this is the first series since Michael Landon ruled the airwaves to be based on its star's gifts as a listener. Most of Duke's empathy sessions conclude with her proclaiming, "I'm here for you" or "How can I help you?"

When it sticks to the spiritual, detailing Duke's efforts to lead a rigorous Christian life, the show is striking. (Even those scenes where Duke goes to a lonely lakeside to appeal aloud for God's help are moving.) Unfortunately it spends more time trying to imitate Picket Fences, and this mawkish drama doesn't play the card of small-town caprice all that well. You see Amazing Grace, in addition to being tenderhearted, is also a bit softheaded.

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Emma and Andrew: All About Hollywood's Cutest Couple
  • Prince George! More Yummy Photos

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine

Advertisement

From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

From Our Partners



Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters