August 22, 2008

Dr. Quinn, advice columnist

Dear Prudence

(Telepic--Hallmark Channel, Sat. Aug. 23, 9 p.m.)Jane Seymour is the eponymous Prudence, a second-generation pop-culture celebrity who, like her mother before her, doles out household hints and other beneficial bon mots in advice columns and on TV. An amalgam of Heloise, the various Dear Abbys and Martha Stewart, Pru has put work ahead of life and consequently doesn't have much of one outside the TV studio. When she finds she's doing yet another segment on controlling cat litter odor and carpet stains, her boss realizes she's suffering fromburnout and sends her on a vacation to Wyoming.

It turns out that the lodge at which she's staying was also a favorite retreat for her late mother, and once there, Pru discovers a box of her old love letters as well as a new friend in caretaker Ruth Lawson (Tantoo Cardinal).

In the grand tradition of mystery movies, trouble soon arrives. Ruth's son, who was investigating shady dealings involving Native American tribal land, is found dead of an alleged suicide, but Pru suspects foul play. She informs the local sheriff, Eddie Duncan (Jamey Sheridan), of her suspicions, but he's not buying into her brand of do-it-yourself sleuthing. In fact, when she offers to tutor him on how to clean the police station coffeemaker, he rebuffs her with "We like bitter. It keeps us mean."
Comment:  Nice to see Jane Seymour is continuing her interest in Native subjects. As you may recall, she recently visited the Navajo Nation for a drought documentary.

For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Movies.

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