Picks and Pans Review: The Party's Over

updated 09/03/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/03/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Lifetime (Wed., Aug. 29, 9 P.M. ET)


When I first heard the title, I thought I'd be watching the Don Meredith Story. (That's the title of the song the lonesome cowboy used to warble in the broadcast booth on Monday Night Football round about the fourth quarter.)

In fact this documentary, hosted by thirtysomething's Melanie Mayron, dryly dramatizes how the families of addicts and alcoholics can use a technique called intervention to motivate the user to submit to treatment.

With intervention, the family (sometimes friends and even employers), in concert with a trained addiction counselor, confronts the user calmly and cites specific instances of his behavior that concern them, in order to crack the powerful denial system most addicts construct.

Dubiously, the three re-creations of interventions elect to use real people to act out their own painful case histories. But even awkwardly underplayed, the scenes are emotional events. For families trapped on the addiction roller coaster, the technique can also provide hope. The program contends that 90 percent of the people who are confronted in this manner agree to get professional help, a giant first step toward recovery.

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