By David Hiltbrand
December 23, 1991 12:00 PM

CBS (Sun., Dec. 22, 9 P.M. ET)


It boggles the mind that last season’s Children of the Bride, a formulaic and forgettable movie with Golden Girl Rue McClanahan, should earn a sequel. But here it is.

In the original, McClanahan played a woman who faced the hostility of her four adult children when she decided to marry a younger man. Now she returns from her honeymoon and discovers she’s pregnant, a development that is met with nothing but disbelief and disapproval from her husband (Ted Shackelford), who goes AWOL because he doesn’t want to raise a family, and her four kids (Kristy McNichol, John Wesley Shipp, Anne Marie Bobby and Conor O’Farrell), all of whom have big problems of their own. (All are returnees except Shackelford and Shipp, who replace, respectively, Patrick Duffy and Jack Coleman.)

The sequel manages to be more contrived than its predecessor, no mean feat. As soon as McClanahan attends Lamaze class with pregnant daughter McNichol—gee, last time we looked, the unwed McNichol character had just come out of a convent—it’s pretty obvious that the family’s many conflicts will get resolved in one very crowded maternity ward. Pray the new year doesn’t bring Diaper Service of the Bride.