High school principal Tom Gardner (Lee Horsley), wife Claire (Polly Draper), son Robbie (Chris Martin), daughter Chelsea (Ari Meyers) live in TV family harmony until Monica Arens (Deborah Raffin) returns to the college town with 18 -year-old son Ken (Stan Kirsch). Looks like the tide is in.

High school principal Tom Gardner (Lee Horsley), wife Claire (Polly Draper), son Robbie (Chris Martin), daughter Chelsea (Ari Meyers) live in TV family harmony until Monica Arens (Deborah Raffin) returns to the college town with 18 -year-old son Ken (Stan Kirsch). Looks like the tide is in.

Seems Tom and Monica had a one-nighter 19 years ago at his bachelor spree. Tom went on to marry innocent Claire, and Monica, not telling him she’s pregnant with Kent, moves away and into a successful business career as a single woman.

Of course, pushy cheerleader Chelsea goes after Kent without knowing he’s her half-brother, and he responds. Oh, what a tangled web writer Patricia K. Meyer amusingly weaves so everyone can be hurt.

A nosey registrar (Joan Berlatsky) bumps into Monica and Tom as they try sorting out the obvious, and Claire sees them rendezvousing enough times to wonder what’s going on.

Meyer’s soapy, souped-up meller sure has a strong premise, but it’s frittered away by stick characters, absurd coincidences, artificial dialogue and situations that’d make a CBS Schoolbreak blush. Director Nancy Malone, using dated setups and stale character reactions, brings little credibility to a vidpic based on contrivance.

Horsley goes determinedly through the paces, and Raffin makes smothering mom Monica so gracious she all but curtsies. Acting throughout ranges from plodding to earnest, although Draper makes her early scenes count, and Kirsch’s Kent rings with truth and vitality.

Richard H. Kline filmed the piece uninspiredly, but art director Richard St. John Harrison gives “Home Song” a sense of realism.

Cbs Wednesday Movie Lavyrle Spencer's Home Song

(Wed. (20), 9-11 p.m., CBS)

Production

Filmed in Vancouver by Dove Entertainment, Hallmark and Signboard Hill; Exec producers, LaVyrle Spencer, Gerald Leider; producers, Michael Viner, Deborah Raffin; director, Nancy Malone; writer, Patricia K. Meyer; based on book by Spencer.

Crew

Camera, Richard H. Kline; editor, Daniel Cahn; art director, Richard St. John Harrison; sound, Tim Richardson; music, Ken Heller; L.A. casting, Ellen Meyer; Canada, Carol Kelsay.

With

Cast: Lee Horsley, Polly Draper, Deborah Raffin, Ari Meyers, Chris Martin, Stan Kirsch, Ken Pogue, Christopher Cazenove, Miles Wiltshire, Gabriele Rose, Duane Keogh, Joely Collins, Deryl Hayes, Claire Riley, Jayson Boychuk, Juno Ruddell, Doron Bell, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Aaron Pearl, AJ Unger, Ray Galletti, Basil Sohun, Mike Pohorly.

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