Television: Hysterical Blindness

HBO, Aug. 25, 9:30 p.m. E.T.

Debby is a self-destructive New Jersey barfly who is overlooked by men--even though she is played by, and thus looks like, Uma Thurman. If you buy that, you will buy that Debby has a thick Joisey accent but Mom (Gena Rowlands) does not, that there's a neat pop-psych explanation (Dad abandoned the family) for her low self-esteem and bouts of stress-induced blindness, and that the Garden State really is the stereotyped, Camaros-and-Bruce milieu offered here by director Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding). In which case, I've got a turnpike I would like to sell you. --By James Poniewozik


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