Picks and Pans Review: The Adventures of the Black Stallion

updated 12/17/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/17/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

The Family Channel (Sundays, 7:30 P.M. ET)

C+

Imagine a bigger Lassie with a nasty attitude and hooves, and you have the idea of this tediously melodramatic adventure.

In a series based on the Walter Farley books. Richard Ian Cox plays young Alec Ramsey, the only person who can ride the majestic steed. Mickey Rooney, reprising his role from the film The Black Stallion, is a trainer. Together they travel the racing circuit meeting a new batch of people with a new set of problems each week.

Rooney, craftsman that he is, often elevates the show, but only a few inches. He sure looks odd with that stubby cowboy hat sitting on his head.

The real star is more temperamental than Bruce Willis. In each episode. Cox must say something like, "Nobody goes near the Black." But the horse, an 8-year-old Arabian named Jamboree Excalibur, is a magnificent specimen. Not a bad actor either. (Each episode is repeated the following Thursday and Saturday.)

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