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TV REVIEW : Miffed Teen Sues Her Date in 'Stood Up!'

December 06, 1990|LYNNE HEFFLEY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A 16-year-old girl sues her date when he stands her up for the prom. Is she a heroine or a troublemaker? The answer is never in doubt in "Stood Up!," today's simplistic "ABC Afterschool Special" (3 p.m. on Channels 7, 3, 10 and 42).

Lucy Deakins ("The Boy Who Could Fly") is high school junior and budding photographer Becky, thrilled when senior gymnastics star Garrett (Spike Alexander) asks her to his prom.

Becky earns money for a dress and on the big night eagerly waits for her escort. And waits. She learns later that he took his old girlfriend.

What to do? What any red-blooded American would do these days, apparently--sue.

In the teleplay, written by Peg Haller and Bo Schneider and directed by Aviva Slesin, there's no question that Garrett is an arrogant jerk, but why have Becky's photographer mentor (Jan Miner) comment, upon hearing who the girl is going to the prom with, "Oh, an athlete "--as if she's just stepped in something? Cheap shot. She doesn't know him.

There is some mitigating humor--Becky imagines she has to wear a scarlet "S" for "Stood Up," and fantasizes getting revenge as a punk giantess in black leather.

The pending lawsuit brings Becky notoriety, scorn and criticism. An alternative--a "trial" at school--is suggested by a high school teacher (Geoffrey Owens of "The Cosby Show").

That Becky wants reimbursement for the money she spent on an unreturnable dress is reasonable. That Garrett scores with his peers by suggesting that guys have to watch out for angry dates who file lawsuits is realistic. But it's a stretch to think this is an issue of burning concern to teens.

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