Picks and Pans Review: Highlights of the 1988 Summer Olympics

UPDATED 01/09/1989 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 01/09/1989 at 01:00 AM EST

NBC's Olympics coverage often seemed to be one long commercial interrupted by an occasional sporting event. So it's jolting to see all this Olympics coverage at once. The producers do stick in two commercials, however, maybe to lessen withdrawal pains. The rest of this 90-minute retrospective recaps many of the 237 events, but that's about all it does—it could be called The Highlights of the Highlights. Host Bryant Gumbel tells who won and who lost, and he never shuts up. The action is rarely allowed to speak for itself. In the tennis roundup, for instance, we don't see a single point played. All stats and no flash make for a dull video. NBC has also, however, turned out six 35-40 minute individual tapes on the Games' boxing, water sports, track and field (men's and women's events separately), gymnastics and volleyball competitions. They're superior for capturing the action and a better bet, unless you have a pressing need to know such details as who won the 1,000-meter two-man scull event (Greg Barton and Norman Bellingham of the U.S). (Wood Knapp, highlight tape, $29.95; individual tapes, $19.95 each; 800-453-2800)

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