Television: High Soap Opera in D.C.

In Washington: Behind Closed Doors, America's long national nightmare has been transformed into a long—and fiendishly entertaining—prime-time TV soap opera. For 12½ raucous hours this miniseries wallows in Watergate, re-creating White House horrors in the same pulpy style that characterized ABC's Rich Man, Poor Man and Roots. Though

Washington: Behind Closed Doors is not afraid to be as lurid as its title—or to fudge history for melodramatic effect —only literal-minded historians and unreconstructed Nixon fans will find the show objectionable. For everyone else, Washington is a riveting throwback to the time when...

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