Review: ‘Moment of Truth’

Another day, another reality show.

Another day, another reality show.

This time it’s “Moment of Truth,” a Grosso/Jacobson half-hour that purports to show how “one event sometimes changes us forever.” This show is unlikely to have any similar lasting effect on viewers.

Following the lead of the recent “Heroes,””Moment of Truth” uses re-enactments to tell two stories about people’s unusual reactions to extraordinary circumstances.

In the first seg, a young boy rescues his mother after a bad car accident. In the second, a grandmother, fed up with how her drug-addicted daughters are neglecting her grandchild, goes undercover to get the evidence needed to break up the drug ring.

Re-enacted scenes are interspersed with shots of the real counterparts sitting in a theater viewing those scenes. This kitschy approach is weighted down by the fact that the real people, reading their own reminiscences off cue cards, are about as natural as Dolly Parton’s hair.

The typically melodramatic script and strategically placed commercial breaks are intended to build suspense. But the narration keeps revealing key details that defeat the effort. Cast of re-enactments performs adequately and strongly resembles real-life counterparts. Direction by George Mendeluk is straightforward; unfortunately, he hasn’t done a thing to help the non-actors.

The review cassette of “Moment of Truth” optimistically concludes, “Join us next week….” It seems unlikely the show will be around that long.

Moment of Truth

(Thurs. (2), 8:30-9 p.m., CBS-TV)

Production

Filmed in Toronto by Grosso/Jacobson Prods. in association with CBS Entertainment Prods. Exec producers, Sonny Grosso, Larry Jacobson; producer, J. Miles Dale; associate producer, Lisa Parasyn; director, George Mendeluk; writer, Jim Henshaw; production designer, Gerry Holmes.

Crew

Camera, Ron Stannet; music, Domenic Troiano.

Cast

With: Kelly Lyons, Rocky Lyons, Pat Morrison, Christine Reeves, Kyle Labine, Patricia Idlette, Fran Gebhard, Brooke Johnson, Ashley Rainey, Peggy Coffey, Don Francks, John Tench, James Purcell, Jeremy Ratchford, Victor Ertmanis.
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