Picks and Pans Review: Berrenger's
NBC (Saturdays, 10 p.m. ET)
Twinky. Nighttime soaps are supposed to be tempestuous and torrid. This one’s twinky. Take Cammie, the naive Ohio kid who comes to work in the New York department store (the real star of the show). She sleeps with a teddy bear. The store executives get into arguments about selling teddy bears. Dallas, it ain’t—even though it does come from the same production company, Lorimar. In the pilot episode there were too many subplots—at least a dozen. And there were too many people, none of them able to stand out in the crowd, not even Yvette Mimieux and Anita (Nine) Morris, certainly not Sam (Private Benjamin) Wanamaker as the head of the Berrenger family and store. The script is filled with more clichés than Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations. When Andrea (The Front) Marcovicci refuses to give a divorce to Ben (Lottery!) Murphy, playing the heir-apparent to the store, she whines: “You were unfaithful to me from the beginning. The only thing you ever were faithful to was Berrenger’s. The damned store is your wife.” You’ve heard it all before. Not to beat a dead horse, but the late, lamented Paper Dolls was far better at dressing soap sex in high fashion. Dallas, Dynasty, Falcon Crest and company are all better at plotting and characterization—and sleaze. So take your business elsewhere.