February 03, 1986 12:00 PM

CBS (Sun., Feb. 2, 8 p.m. ET)


Imagine a giant vacuum cleaner. In the cutting rooms where the stupidest soaps, the most mawkish minis, the most distasteful Nazi movies are made, this machine sucks up every scrap of film off the floor. Then the machine regurgitates it, the scenes no one wanted, the clichés too clichéd, all glued together into seven hours and three nights with no sense, with all the plot and production values of a porn flick (not that I’ve ever seen any) and with acting that makes King David look like Oscar fodder. That, it seems, was how Sins was made. You know you’re in trouble from the start, when you’re shown the Eiffel Tower, and then, in case you’re unsure, the word “Paris” pops on the screen. This is a mini made by and for mini minds. The vacuum couldn’t find any healthy sex scenes but did find too many misogynous shots of women being beaten or raped. The machine was just as efficient at picking up every line you’ve already heard too often: “For the first time in my life I’ve realized what love is.” “I never want to be without you.” “I love you.” “No, Hubert, please!” “I need you.” “Take your hands off me!” Sins could be a melodrama, but that implies a story; the vacuum didn’t pick up any. Star and co-producer Joan Collins (played in her youngest days by fetching Catherine Mary Stewart) is a Parisian girl, with an unaccountable English accent, who’s orphaned by the Nazis and becomes a model and magazine publisher in New York (odd, it looks like L.A.). In the end (which is where the show starts), she triumphs over every adversary. One preposterous stab at a storyline has Joan meeting and marrying Gene Kelly and then mourning him—all in the time it takes you to roll your eyes. And let me be the millionth to say that Collins is a superlooking 52, but it’s also preposterous to see her playing a giggly girl in her 20s. I could go on and on. But since that is precisely Sins’ worst transgression, I won’t.

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