Picks and Pans Review: From the Files of Joseph Wambaugh: Jury of One

updated 11/30/1992 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/30/1992 01:00AM

NBC (Sun., Nov. 29, 9 P.M. ET)

B

In the first of a projected series of movies based on author Wambaugh's law-enforcement experiences, L.A. Law's John Spencer stars as a good cop who goes into a long, boozy tailspin alter accidentally killing another officer.

As a police procedural about a series of barrio slayings, the film is terse and believable. But when it ventures onto personal and psychological ground, the credibility evaporates, for instance. Spencer's wife tells him as she leaves him, "I'm not willing to live with your ghosts anymore. The bed's just not big enough for all of us."

Still, Spencer, who in a short time has established himself as one of TV's most substantial character actors, gives a striking portrait of a charming, functional alcoholic trying to hold his life together with palsied hands. Eddie Velez, Dan Lauria and Rachel Ticotin costar.

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