Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

TV REVIEW : 'Halftime': Lives of Five Yale Men

July 26, 1989|DON SHIRLEY

"Halftime: Five Yale Men at Midlife" (Channels 15 and 24 tonight at 10, Channel 28 Friday at 9 p.m.) is for voyeurs more than anyone else.

We look in on the mid-life crises of five graduates of Yale University, Class of 1963. The five were selected after hundreds of questionnaires were sent to members of the class by Yale psychology professor Daniel J. Levinson, author of "The Seasons of a Man's Life."

First we see the men at their homes, then in interviews conducted by Levinson at Yale, and finally in a group, at a sensitive guys' bull session moderated by Levinson.

It's about as deep--and about as entertaining--as an average episode of "Donahue."

One of the five, television executive/author Steve Sohmer, is from Los Angeles. We see him riding in his chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce, stretching by his pool, and wining and dining a lady friend at a table ostentatiously lit by 18 candles.

In the show's most gripping moment, we observe Sohmer chomping furiously on his cigar as one of the other men explains what it was like to leave his wife for another man. We also hear Sohmer supposedly spilling his guts about his two failed marriages.

That's "supposedly" because with Sohmer, as with each of the five, major questions go unanswered. This isn't surprising, as the show purports to cover the inner lives of five men in a mere 90 minutes.

Near the end of the group session, Levinson chides his subjects for not responding more directly to each other's remarks. While it's true that the men refrain from passing any negative judgment on each other, this behavior is predictable, given the format.

Director David Sutherland has made "Halftime" easy to watch. It's also pop psychology at its most ersatz.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|