'MORK &amp; amp; MINDY' This is one behind-the-scene movie that should never come to light
The flick provides little information, and the actor playing Robin Williams does a poor job.
By TERRY MORROW
Television's obsession with making cheesy behind-the-scene movies about classic TV shows has clubbed most of our favorites to death. We've seen the dirt stirred up on everything from "Gilligan's Island" to "Three's Company."
The latest low blow comes from "Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of 'Mork & amp; Mindy'" (9 p.m. Monday, NBC). This look at the 1978-82 series is to TV movies what polyester is to cotton -- cheap and uncomfortable.
At least with the recent "Dynasty" film, we got some nice camp to string together a flimsy story. What we get with "Mork & amp; Mindy" is caricatures of characters and a story that is mere surface reporting. If you know anything about Robin Williams, there is no need to watch this. The real Williams is so unbelievably over the top that trying to bring him down to earth as a character to which others can relate is hard.
Newcomer Chris Diamantopoulos has that unenviable task, and fails. He is never able to show a side of Williams beyond what we've all seen in interviews. Instead, he plays Williams as an annoying baby.
But, oh, this look inside "Mork & amp; Mindy" had grand opportunities to explore rich and true-to-life characters. But those chances are squandered, and this TV-movie comes off as more opportunistic than anything else.
Williams is a guy who seems to have it all -- a fantastic sense of humor, an amazing way of amusing audiences and millions of fans. Yet he found his way into drugs and an emotional spiral.
"Mork & amp; Mindy" never explains how this happened.
"You can't fix Robin," a TV executive said when Williams is proving problematic on the set.
Well, no one can play him, either.
Erinn Hayes has better luck in her role as Pam Dawber, but, like the real Dawber, she's merely chewing the background. The title may say "Mork & amp; Mindy," but it's really all about Williams and his well-documented demons.
If "Mork & amp; Mindy" does anything well, it shows that Williams and Dawber had a special relationship that may have been one of the more stable aspects of Williams' life back then.
"Mork & amp; Mindy" is train-wreck television. It's also an embarrassment for the actors involved. My advice to them: Maybe you shouldn't show your faces around Hollywood for a while.