Picks and Pans Review: Deception: a Mother's Secret

updated 11/25/1991 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/25/1991 AT 01:00 AM EST

NBC (Sun., Nov. 24, 9 P.M. ET)

B+

The plot of this telefilm may seem like a tabloid story, but there is an element of restraint that puts it a cut above most of its docudrama peers. Steven (Wings) Weber stars as a loving husband and father who wants to adopt his new wife's son. She refuses, but when she suddenly dies, he begins the adoption with the help of his mother (Katherine Helmond). Along the way he discovers more than he bargained for about his wife and her child.

There is just enough mystery here to keep the story moving, and the writing minimizes the sensationalism and schmaltz. Weber does a fine, understated job of playing a man who watches the home life he has struggled to build collapse around him. Just as important, the story stays true to itself instead of copping out with the requisite happy ending.

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