Picks and Pans Review: Talking Heads: Bed Among the Lentils

updated 02/13/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/13/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

PBS (Sun., Feb. 12, 9 P.M. ET)

A

Don't be put off by the title or the concept: one actress sitting eye-to-eye with a camera for 50 minutes, just talking. I won't call it a monologue; that implies tedium. No, I call it storytelling; that means entertainment—especially in the hands of Maggie Smith. She plays the sad but witty, wry but wise wife of a boorish, small town vicar. "Jeffrey," she says of her husband, "is bad enough. But I'm glad I'm not married to Jesus." She tells stories about guzzling the communion wine and replacing it with cough syrup, about the ladies of the church engaging in flower arranging as a competitive sport and about joining a second "church," Alcoholics Anonymous. Here's a Masterpiece Theatre that's true to the name.

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