Review: ‘The Absolute Truth’

The Absolute Truth (Wed. (30), 9-11 p.m., CBS) Filmed in Toronto by the Frederick S. Pierce Co. in association with Catfish Prods. Executive producers, Frederick S. Pierce, Richard Pierce, KeithPierce, James Keach, Jane Seymour; producer, Susan Murdoch; director, James Keach; writer, Selam Thompson, Harriet N. Francis; camera, Roland (Ozzie) Smith; editor, Stephen Lawrence; sound, Ian Hendry; production design, David Davis; music, Brahm Wenger; casting, Victoria Huff. Cast: Jane Seymour, Bruce Greenwood, Linda Purl, Sea McCann, Marina Gonzales Palmier, Barbara Eve Harris, Ramona Milano, Torri Higison, Andy Velasquez Jr. Superficial treatment of a serious subject, featuring Jane Seymour as a seriously naive TV news producer, "The Absolute Truth" sets to explore sexual harassment, ethics in the media and political hanky panky, resulting in a shallow gloss that insults viewer intelligence. Seymour is Alison Reid, a TV news producer on "Focus," a "60 Minutes"-type newsmag. Longtime buddy Jean (Linda Purl), press secretary for Sen. Emmett Hunter (the toothy and slick William Devane), confesses to Alison over dinner that Hunter has been making unwanted sexual advances toward her, and has a tape to prove it Alison jumps on the story --- after all, it's two weeks before the presidential election --- and boss Hal (Sean McGann) orders Alison and anchor Jake Slaughter (the charming yet predatory Bruce Greenwood) to get that story! Incredibly, it's revealed that "Focus" --- and this is right before the elections --- has not run a profile on Hunter. Meantime, Jake and Alison become lovers. Plot takes numerous twists, believable and un-, and climaxes in a silly ending that plays off on the worst type of government conspiracy theories. Flat direction by James Keach adds nothing to the script by Selma Thompson and Harriet N. Francis, who at first stay true to what must have been a good idea --- examining the issue of sexual harassment in the context of journalistic ethics --- but were unable to avoid glamour and melodrama. The "Focus" group airs stories without accurate sources and Jake seems more intent on nailing Alison than in nailing the big scoop. "Truth" not only does damage to the media, it's irresponsible to the political process as well. Seymour tries her best with the naive character she's saddled with --- c'mon, couldn't she see right through a guy named Jake Slaughter? --- and Devane's Hunter is "Knots Landing's" Greg Sumner gone national. Pros Greenwood and Purl glide along, and Marin Gonzales Palmieri turns in a solid perf as a strong woman who's haunted by her past. At one point, Alison says, "A good story should mean something." Well, exactly.

The Absolute Truth (Wed. (30), 9-11 p.m., CBS) Filmed in Toronto by the Frederick S. Pierce Co. in association with Catfish Prods. Executive producers, Frederick S. Pierce, Richard Pierce, KeithPierce, James Keach, Jane Seymour; producer, Susan Murdoch; director, James Keach; writer, Selam Thompson, Harriet N. Francis; camera, Roland (Ozzie) Smith; editor, Stephen Lawrence; sound, Ian Hendry; production design, David Davis; music, Brahm Wenger; casting, Victoria Huff. Cast: Jane Seymour, Bruce Greenwood, Linda Purl, Sea McCann, Marina Gonzales Palmier, Barbara Eve Harris, Ramona Milano, Torri Higison, Andy Velasquez Jr. Superficial treatment of a serious subject, featuring Jane Seymour as a seriously naive TV news producer, “The Absolute Truth” sets to explore sexual harassment, ethics in the media and political hanky panky, resulting in a shallow gloss that insults viewer intelligence. Seymour is Alison Reid, a TV news producer on “Focus,” a “60 Minutes”-type newsmag. Longtime buddy Jean (Linda Purl), press secretary for Sen. Emmett Hunter (the toothy and slick William Devane), confesses to Alison over dinner that Hunter has been making unwanted sexual advances toward her, and has a tape to prove it Alison jumps on the story — after all, it’s two weeks before the presidential election — and boss Hal (Sean McGann) orders Alison and anchor Jake Slaughter (the charming yet predatory Bruce Greenwood) to get that story! Incredibly, it’s revealed that “Focus” — and this is right before the elections — has not run a profile on Hunter. Meantime, Jake and Alison become lovers. Plot takes numerous twists, believable and un-, and climaxes in a silly ending that plays off on the worst type of government conspiracy theories. Flat direction by James Keach adds nothing to the script by Selma Thompson and Harriet N. Francis, who at first stay true to what must have been a good idea — examining the issue of sexual harassment in the context of journalistic ethics — but were unable to avoid glamour and melodrama. The “Focus” group airs stories without accurate sources and Jake seems more intent on nailing Alison than in nailing the big scoop. “Truth” not only does damage to the media, it’s irresponsible to the political process as well. Seymour tries her best with the naive character she’s saddled with — c’mon, couldn’t she see right through a guy named Jake Slaughter? — and Devane’s Hunter is “Knots Landing’s” Greg Sumner gone national. Pros Greenwood and Purl glide along, and Marin Gonzales Palmieri turns in a solid perf as a strong woman who’s haunted by her past. At one point, Alison says, “A good story should mean something.” Well, exactly.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading