Picks and Pans Review: Stranger in the Family

updated 10/28/1991 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 10/28/1991 AT 01:00 AM EST

ABC (Sun., Oct. 27, 9 P.M. ET)

D+

Neil Patrick Harris sure has been busy away from Doogie Howser. In a recent episode of The Simpsons, he played himself playing Bart in a spoof of sensationalized TV movies. In an abrupt about-face, Harris stars in this grueling fact-based film as a teen injured in a car accident that renders him helplessly childlike and without memory. Teri (Good & Evil) Garr (see story, page 89) plays the mother stubbornly struggling to restore the son she loves. Sierra Samuel and Randle Mell costar. Like many harsh disease-of-the-week movies, this one travels with more emotional baggage than its cast can early. Why in the world do the networks believe that unfiltered agony like this has redemptive or artistic merit merely because it happened?

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