Picks and Pans Review: Quiet Killer
CBS (Tues., March 24, 9 P.M. ET)
On the eve of the Democratic Convention in New York City, the city finds itself battling an outbreak of pneumonic plague. (As if the Democrats don't have enough problems already.) Among the stock characters, you have the selfless and gorgeous contagious-diseases expert (Kate Jackson), her firebrand assistant (Jeffrey Nordling), the capable health commissioner (Jerry Orbach again), an infected Congressman (Howard Hesseman) and the Mayor (Al Waxman), who wants to keep a lid on the situation at all costs.
It's a brisk, often graphic disaster film—at least initially. As the disease spreads, the scope becomes too much for a TV movie to depict, and this project devolves into a strident, poorly acted mess. The more things get away from the filmmakers, the more they resort to that shooting-fish-in-a-barrel sport: New York bashing.
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