Series: As the Victorian World Turns

Family series on U.S. television have laugh tracks, Doris Day, cute kids, lovable ghosts, Fred MacMurray and hilarious situations. What they don't have with any consistency is writing, characterization, drama, style and insight. Except, this season, for The Forsyte Saga, which begins a 26-week series this Sunday night on National Educational Television. For a turn-of-the-century English family, the Forsytes have everything: a generation gap (in fact, a three-generation gap), extramarital lust, intramarital lust, rape, divorce, birth, death, intrigue.

For those who have forgotten their Galsworthy, the first installment is hard to...

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