'Trials of Rosie O'Neill' easily dismissed

September 17, 1990|By Michael Hill | Michael Hill,Evening Sun Staff

"The Trials of Rosie O'Neill" has all the right intentions, but something seems wrong with this picture, something that's hard to put your finger on. It's just so . . . so conventional.

Here's Sharon Gless, back in her old Monday at 10 o'clock on CBS time slot she had with "Cagney and Lacey," back with the creator of that show, Barney Rosenzweig, ready to use her squinty smile, likability and considerable talent to take on the problems of a divorced, childless, middle-age woman.

That's all well and good. But as you watch this first hour, on Channel 11 (WBAL) at 10 o'clock tonight, "The Trials of Rosie O'Neill" just looks so much like, well, a television show.

That means in this day and age that you're trodding over well-trod soil, that you're not being inventive, that you're not giving people any reason to stay tuned.

"The Trials of Rosie O'Neill" tries to start out a bit unconventionally, with its title character using the vernacular to say that she's thinking about an operation on her breasts. Not made bigger, "just fluffed up a bit."

But she's telling this to, of all people, her analyst. She's 43, divorced from her former law partner who's now fixated on 20-year-olds. She lost the law firm, the high paying job, and decided to become a public defender, though her society-oriented mother is on her case for not making more money. Rosie's got a Mercedes she parks a few blocks from the office so the status symbol won't embarrass her.

In the plot of this first episode, she is not a harassed, snowed-under public defender who hardly knows who it is she's representing. No, in this hour, Rosie seems to be able to devote all her attention to one case

"The Trials of Rosie O'Neill" is not bad for a conventional television show. If you don't have anything better to do, you won't mind watching it. But these days, most of us have better things to do.

"The Trials of Rosie O'Neill

** A 43-year-old woman puts her life together after a divorce, leaving the classy law firm she had with her husband and becoming a public defender.

CAST: Sharon Gless

TIME: Mondays at 10 o'clock

CHANNEL: CBS Channel 11 (WBAL)

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