Picks and Pans Review: Life Goes on

updated 09/11/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/11/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

ABC (Tues., Sept. 12, 10 P.M. ET)

A+

ABC knows it has something here. They give the show a special sneak preview on a Tuesday, and then they're airing the same episode again on Friday. Good move, ABC.

Of course, the network also slotted the series to run on Sunday nights against CBS's 60 Minutes and NBC's Magical World of Disney and Fox's Booker. Dumb move, ABC.

Life is a warm, delightful, touching family show, the kind guaranteed to make you feel good to be drawing breath—the way the movie It's a Wonderful Life does. This well-cast and beautifully written show also treats women, blacks and the handicapped with dignity, which not enough TV shows do.

Gifted actors Patti LuPone and Bill Smitrovich blend remarkably as a couple who head a working-class family of five. Their only son has Down syndrome. (He's played winningly by actor Chris Burke, who has Down syndrome in real life.)

Life's writer and executive producer Michael Braverman has come up with a show touching on brilliance. Now, the question is: Will the audience find it?

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