Picks and Pans Review: The Shell Seekers

updated 12/04/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/04/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

ABC (Sun., Dec. 3, 9 P.M. ET)


Hallmark Hall of Fame presents this neatly telescoped rendering of Rosamunde Pilcher's bestseller. Though talky and tenderhearted, it's patient and realistic in a way American televison almost never is.

The Shell Seekers allows Angela Lansbury to escape the quilted cubbyhole of Jessica Fletcher and show off her formidable range. She plays a 63-year-old woman putting her life in perspective, a self-conciliation complicated by her three grown children. Lansbury gives the role an understated but moving turn. Also good is Denis Quilley as her younger daughter's expatriate lover.

It's a subdued, sentimental, somewhat soap-operatic tale of familial love both sorely tried and true.

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