Picks and Pans Review: Free to Be...a Family

updated 12/19/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/19/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

ABC (Wed., Dec. 14, 8 P.M. ET)

B

I suppose it's comforting to know that at least one half of the Phil Donahue-Marlo Thomas household hasn't lost its wide-eyed, twinkie optimism. While Phil is off mud-wrestling, Marlo is still trying to bring peace and understanding to the world today. She gives us what she says is the first prime-time children's entertainment show jointly produced by the United States and the Soviet Union. Kids from each superpower become pen pals, trading Mötley Crüe posters and plastic squirt guns. Then, in a satellite link (now pretentiously known as a space bridge), both groups of kids get to meet each other and agree that they all like the Beatles. Our kids show their kids entertainment from Robin Williams, Jon Bon Jovi, Penn and Teller, Lily Tomlin and Kermit the Frog. Their kids show our kids Soviet rock. Then Marlo and Carly Simon and kids on both sides of the world sing a song together. A summit, it isn't. Sweet, it is.

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