Picks and Pans Review: Strange Voices
NBC (Mon., Oct. 19, 9 p.m. ET)
The disease of this week: schizophrenia. James Woods had it in Promise and that show just won four Emmys. Now Nancy (The Facts of Life) McKeon plays a college student who becomes schizophrenic, tearing apart the lives of her parents, Valerie Harper and Stephen Macht. Schizophrenia and this country’s inability to cope with it are tragedies that deserve fuller treatment than you’ll find here. Voices almost breaks new ground by exposing the inadequacies of laws on the commitment and treatment of mental patients. But before the script can examine that problem, it goes flying off in all directions, becoming a catalog of traumas caused by mental illness instead of a drama about them. Meanwhile, Macht goes flying off in an outrageously overdone performance. But McKeon and Harper do their best. They give the show its sympathy and humanity.