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Going Home

Peach pies and picket fences -- CBS tackles the hard issues associated with country living but offers up a creaky and derivative package in "Going Home." Not all telepics should aim for the Internet generation, but dawdling stories that go nowhere and take too long to get there aren't necessarily a good thing either.

With:
Charles Barton - Jason Robards Katherine Barton - Sherry Stringfield Dr. Warren - Clint Black Meg - Ashley Crowe Jack - Christopher Rich Dylan - Scott Terra

Peach pies and picket fences — CBS tackles the hard issues associated with country living but offers up a creaky and derivative package in “Going Home.” Not all telepics should aim for the Internet generation, but dawdling stories that go nowhere and take too long to get there aren’t necessarily a good thing either.

A Clorox Diamond special presentation, “Home” is as unoriginal as they come. A big-city professional realizes that life is too short so she dedicates all of her time to a sick and lonely parent. From Anna Quindlen’s “One True Thing” to the Eye web’s “Silk Hope” last year, this much-used plotline plays out like a has-been; until someone brings a new twist to this old-hat narrative, its number should definitely be retired.

Katherine Barton (Sherry Stringfield) is a highly regarded Manhattan-based book editor. Her metropolitan existence is interrupted when she finds out her father, Charles (Jason Robards), has been sending pralines to her brother who died in Vietnam. Concerned and confused, she races to his side in Oakmont, Va., and encounters reality at an unusual pace.

She now has to deal with a laid-back pack. Katherine’s simple sister, Meg (Ashley Crowe), has been watching after Daddy and resents Katherine’s attitude. There’s also Dr. Warren (Clint Black), an insightful and dreamy practitioner who teaches this Tina Brown-ish career woman a thing or two about slowing down.

All of this doesn’t sit too well with Jack (Christopher Rich), Katherine’s boyfriend whose sensitivity level hits rock bottom after discovering his g.f. might remain in Hicksville forever. The big dilemma scares him: Will she return to New York and score a promotion or will she stay and assist her ailing papa?

If that question intrigues you, then “Home” was made exactly for you. Dalene Young’s screenplay has a heart and certainly has a shot with the “Touched by an Angel” crowd, but anyone looking for meaning and depth of character will be seriously disappointed. And while a leisurely treatment is fine, some collective passion would have been a big help, especially since director Ian Barry’s ultraslow pace becomes distracting.

And the perfs barely register. The usually dependable Robards is merely adequate as a deteriorating old coot; Stringfield stretches as the conflicted daughter; and Black is, well, Lisa Hartman’s husband.

Tech credits, however, are tops all around.

Going Home

CBS; Sun. March 12, 9 p.m.

Production: Filmed in Los Angeles by Madison Avenue Prods. and the Polson Co. Executive producers, Jack McQueen, Beth Polson; producer, Erica Fox; director, Ian Barry; writer, Dalene Young, from a story by Polson.

Crew: Camera, John C. Newby; roduction designer, David Ford; editor, Jim Oliver; music, Alan Williams. 2 HOURS.

Cast: Charles Barton - Jason Robards Katherine Barton - Sherry Stringfield Dr. Warren - Clint Black Meg - Ashley Crowe Jack - Christopher Rich Dylan - Scott Terra

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