Picks and Pans Review: Miss America: Behind the Crown

updated 09/21/1992 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/21/1992 AT 01:00 AM EDT

NBC (Man., Sept. 21, 9 P.M. ET)


Two nights after she gives up her crown, Carolyn Sapp, Miss America 1992, plays herself in this astoundingly leaden docudrama that recounts her victimization in an abusive relationship with Samoan football star Nuu Faaola (played by Ray Bumatai). The beauty queen, a former Miss Hawaii, first discussed her ordeal in the pages of PEOPLE (Oct. 14, 1991).

There is a radiantly sweet quality to Sapp, but the caliber of her misinflected, often sedative acting wouldn't pass muster even on a reality re-creation show like America's Most Wanted.

The violence shown is minimal but harrowing, climaxing with Bumatai pounding Sapp's head against the wall while screaming, "Why do you do this to me? Why do you make me so angry?" This is an extremely ill-advised, amateurish project, but I suppose if you're the reigning Miss America, you've got to strike while the tiara is hot.

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