No Easy Solutions Here

SHOW: LAUREL AVENUE

TIME: JULY 10, 11 (DEBUT), HBO

THE BOTTOM LINE: A weekend in the life of one troubled Minnesota family is dramatized with honesty and compassion.

For a medium so concerned with "family values," TV has been treating the family pretty badly of late. With rare exceptions (notably ABC's Roseanne), sitcom clans are stitched together with baling wire and bad jokes. Serious family dramas (Family, A Year in the Life) have all but disappeared from prime time, and the few recent offerings have been too distracted by other matters -- skewering small-town life in Picket Fences; cheerleading for the...

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