What might have worked in a film comes off as silly and poorly written as a half hour of television.
The main plot idea of "Never Explain" could have worked...but here in this edition of "Four Star Playhouse" is definitely didn't. This Quinn Martin story is interesting but is also so very rushed that what the characters do often makes little sense. Additionally, the dialog...ugghh!!
When the story begins, a brand-new social worker meets with her boss, some psychologist. Most of what they say is a lot of psychological mumbo-jumbo-- the sort of stuff that no real therapist would ever say and the conversation is really annoyingly written. The gist of it is this--she's been assigned to investigate the parenting of a free-thinker (David Niven). It seems that he's a single dad and never sends his kids to school and she is determined to save the poor children. However, the kids are very happy and the dad seems to be doing a fine job of home schooling--although it clearly in unorthodox. What's next? See if you dare.
As I mentioned above, the dialog is often quite terrible--and I think it was a good idea for Quinn Martin to go into producing and not writing (he was later responsible for mystery shows like "Cannon" and "Barnaby Jones")! Here is just one example of how the social worker talks: "...the importance of the social intelligence quotient for personal fulfillment cannot be overestimated." Huh?!! Additionally, she never really listens to determine why the father is behaving like he is--she knows EVERYTHING without even investigating. Later, when the show ends, the plot REALLY gets bad, as they shove about 30 minutes of action into 30 seconds--with the most ridiculous and contrived ending imaginable. All in all, a cringe-worthy episode from start to finish and ample evidence that Martin had no idea what a social worker or psychologist talked or acted like in real life. A silly piece of fluff and nothing more.
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