Picks and Pans Review: Laker Girls

UPDATED 04/02/1990 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 04/02/1990 at 01:00 AM EDT

CBS (Tues., April 3, 9 P.M. ET)

D+

When Paula Abdul slingshot to stardom, it was inevitable that we'd get a TV movie devoted to the chorus girl-cheerleader troupe where she got her start. Too bad it had to be this absolutely standard "kids from different backgrounds work their buns off for their showbiz break" saga.

Tina Yothers is a juco graduate from Indiana. Alexandra Paul is a wealthy heiress who hides her identity because she wants to be liked for herself. Paris Vaughan is an inner-city dance instructor. Shari Shattuck is the manipulative careerist and Erin Gray their mother hen. We follow the girls through their tryouts and triumphs, their dreams and romances.

Paul (Santa Barbara) Johansson, as a Laker bench warmer, is a much more authentic athlete than TV usually affords us. It's no fluke—Johansson was a college hoops star in his native Canada. It is kind of disconcerting to see that Yothers is almost as tall as he is, though. The girl who played Michael J. Fox's little sister for so many years on Family Ties is now fully grown and could probably post up Gail Goodrich, if not Magic.

Most of the aerobic dance routines sizzle. The rest of the movie sputters and knocks along.

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