'Veronica Clare' stands out among new Lifetime series

TELEVISION REVIEW

July 23, 1991|By David Zurawik

LOS ANGELES -- The Lifetime cable channel goes only one-for-three in tonight's debut of three new shows aimed at women.

But its one success, "Veronica Clare," which airs at 10 tonight, could be a culturally important one. Ms. Clare (Laura Robinson) is a private detective, which plugs her right into a boom of women writing and starring in mystery fiction.

In tonight's stylish premiere, she has to protect her Aunt Clara against mobsters. The show has a contemporary sensibility with plenty of retro-classic-P.I. atmosphere.

The show is preceded by "The Hidden Room" at 9:30 p.m. and "Confessions of a Crime" at 9 p.m. Nothing retro or classic in either.

"The Hidden Room," an anthology series "about the fears of women," has a bit of promise. Tonight's debut features Alice Krige as a woman unable to accept her baby's death.

But there is not much hope for "Confessions of Crime." The "reality" show stars Theresa Saldana, herself a victim of a brutal assault and founder of a victims rights group. Her involvement is good. But the tabloid-like re-creations of crimes drag it down. And that's bad -- real bad.

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