Picks and Pans Review: The Power of Dreams

updated 06/20/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/20/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

The Discovery Channel (Sun., June 19, 8 p.m. ET)

C+

Researchers tell us that the average person spends two hours a night in a dream state. That works out to about six full years in a lifetime. Yet we know very little about the mysterious universal phenomenon of dreaming. This stodgy three-hour documentary only serves to confirm how little.

The first hour, which focuses on clinical studies, is almost ludicrous. Scientists conduct experiments that seem like such wastes of time and money that I kept expecting Seinfeld's Michael Richards to stumble in wearing the white lab coat and thick spectacles from the soda commercials.

This sleepy study, with a bland narration (delivered by Sam Waterston) and a murky soundtrack (concocted by Thomas Dolby), poses a litany of big questions: What happens to the brain when we sleep? Is there a connection between dreams and the creative process? Are dreams psychologically and even physically therapeutic? But it answers them all with the same refrain: "No one knows."

At least that's how I think it was. I'm afraid I might have drifted off for a while there during the third hour.

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