TELEVISION: Golden, But No Glitter PBS Takes a Fresh Look At

Paddy Chayefsky's realism

Of all the dramatists of TV's putative golden age, Paddy Chayefsky was certainly the most golden. But who cares about his 1950s TV work anymore? His most acclaimed teleplays (Marty, The Bachelor Party) live on chiefly because of their movie adaptations, and Chayefsky himself (who died in 1981) is destined to be remembered more for his savage 1976 satire of television, Network, than for the work he did when he and the medium were on better terms.

But PBS' new production of The Mother, originally seen on the Philco Television Playhouse in 1954, is something of a revelation. By today's lights,...

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