Picks and Pans Review: When Love Kills: the Seduction of John Hearn

updated 05/17/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/17/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

CBS (Tues., May 18, 9 p.m. ET)

C +

In a fact-based drama, Gary Cole plays Hearn, a decorated Vietnam vet who places a vaguely worded ad in Soldier of Fortune magazine, billing himself as the World Security Group. He's inundated with calls wanting all manner of clandestine and illegal services, including one from a very seductive lady from Gainesville, Fla. (Marg Helgenberger), with a taste for insurance money.

Soon she's got Cole eating out of her hand and flexing his trigger finger. But not nearly soon enough. The problem with this two-partner, which concludes the following night, is that as Hearn, Cole has to do an awful lot of sweating, hyperventilating and wrestling with his conscience before committing the acts that put his name in the title of a TV movie.

This all makes for a tawdry and needlessly prolonged story. But it does give Helgenberger an opportunity to burn up the tube as a vicious white-trash siren. The supporting cast includes Michael Jeter, Kathleen Wilhoite, Julie Harris, Gregg Henry and Charles Hallahan, who wins the acting trifecta this week: He's also in Wild Palms and gives a forceful performance on Wednesday (May 12) as a New York City police captain on Law & Order. As for our love-addled mercenary...

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