December 23, 1996 in Features

‘Her Hidden Truth’ Stretches Limits Of Fiction

John Martin New York Times Syndi
 

Every so often a TV movie takes off with a premise that is doomed from the start and nothing can save it.

That’s the case of 1995’s “Her Hidden Truth” (NBC at 9).

Kellie Martin (“Christy”) stars as a young woman who was incarcerated when she was in elementary school for allegedly killing her mother and sister. When her character, Billie, is denied an early release at age 18, she escapes and sets out to find the real killer.

OK. That a child who was wrongly accused of a crime could solve the case after a decade in prison is a stretch. But once writers committed to that idea, they threw caution to the wind on many details.

For instance, when Billie escapes, she is seen driving a car. I’m not aware they have driver’s education courses in youth correctional facilities.

I’m sure they don’t have marksmanship courses. Oddly enough, Billie seems to handle a gun as if it were second nature.

Antonio Sabato Jr. plays a sympathetic detective who helps the young woman find the killer. Ken Howard (“The White Shadow”) and Reed Diamond (“Homicide: Life on the Street”) also star.

Martin is a capable actress, but her talents are wasted in this film.

Don’t miss her a week from tonight in ABC’s affecting, “Breaking Through.”

Highlights

“Football,” ABC at 6: Detroit (5-10) meets San Francisco (11-4) as the NFL’s regular-season play wraps up.

“The Jeff Foxworthy Show,” NBC at 8: After a bad day with dad (Jeff Foxworthy) and “Take Your Kids to Work Day,” Matt (Haley Joel Osment) runs away from home. Once Matt is safe, Jeff has to decide on the appropriate punishment.

Singer Alan Jackson has a cameo.

A second episode, a repeat also, follows at 8:30.

“TV’s Funniest Sitcom Wedding Moments,” FOX at 8: Weddings have provided some of the most-watched network comedies. Here, you’ll see some classic moments in this nostalgic clipfest. Repeat.

“Cincinnati Pops Holiday Special,” PBS at 9: Mel Torme heads the bill with singers from the University of Indiana, a children’s choir and the Studio Cloggers.

“Cybill,” CBS at 9:30:”Cybill,” CBS at 9:30: Cybill and Maryann (Cybill Shepherd, Christine Baranski) enroll in a face and body sculpting class, which leads to the kind of chaos that again reminds you of Lucy and Ethel - if Ethel were a boozer.

Ira (Alan Rosenberg) and Maryann try to go beyond their physical attraction by sharing their interests. Maryann panics when she realizes she has no interests, hence her sudden interest in sculpting.

Cable Calls

“MTV News Unfiltered,” MTV at 6:30: Students’ rights to privacy and the fate of homeless people are among the subjects covered in the latest segments produced by MTV viewers.

“Ernest Saves Christmas” (1988), DISN at 7: Ernest P. Worrell (Jim Varney) comes to Santa’s rescue. A little bit of this goes a long way, but Varney can make you laugh in spite of yourself.

It’s followed at 8:35 by the more imaginative “Will Vinton’s Claymation Christmas.”

“Biography,” A&E; at 5 and 9: A different “Biography” turns its attention to perhaps the most revered woman in history.

“Mary of Nazareth” explores the life of the young Jewish woman who gave birth to the child she and her husband Joseph named Jesus.

You know all this. But you’ll be surprised what you don’t know about Mary and life for women of her rank in society. An illiterate, unwed teenager, she changed the course of the world.

xxxx KSPS offers look at Mayans’ “The World of National Geographic,” KSPS at 8: “Lost Kingdom of the Maya,” narrated by Susan Sarandon, “digs into the tombs, deciphers the hieroglyphics and collects a jumble of other clues” that provide a portrait of Mayan civilization.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = John Martin New York Times Syndicate


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