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TV Reviews : Mother Struggles to Save Daughter From Streets

“Daughter of the Streets” is a melodrama about a teen-ager who is lured into hooking when family pressures become unmanageable. Later, in a mindless twist, she is kidnaped by her family and tied to her bed to bring her back to her senses (at 9 tonight on Channels 7, 3, 10 and 42).

The story, supposedly based on a real-life mother’s ordeal, is pretty absurd. As the social-activist mother who is blind to her daughter’s needs, Jane Alexander is stuck with a self-righteous character who is hard to take when she’s selfish and even harder to take when she’s struggling to save her daughter from the streets.

As the teen-ager turned off by her mother’s ferocious, 1960s’ idealism, not to mention her mom’s cavalier dishonesty with creditors, Roxana Zal is fine until she hits the hard streets and turns tart.

Her transition from decent, caring high school senior to whore is not sufficiently motivated, and her aggressive whoring is never convincing. (Zal is too preppie, Bryn Mawr-looking to get away with this role; in contrast, all the other hookers on the street are perfect casting).

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A surprisingly good characterization, despite its cliches, is delivered by the silken, smooth, pimp-perfect John Stamos. But the script by David Abramowitz is trite and the girl’s kidnapping, complete with police barging in to rescue her from her own well-meaning family, is directed in overdrive by Ed Sherin. The show tries to be both lurid and human and winds up, at best, an ordinary, forgettable drama.


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