Ken Tucker
September 20, 1991 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Runaway Father

TV Show
Current Status
In Season
Donna Mills, Jack Scalia, Chris Mulkey
Drama, TV Movie

We gave it a C-

The title makes it sound like a sitcom, but Runaway Father is a fact-based drama about how in the ’70s, a brave woman (Knots Landing‘s Donna Mills) struggled to support her three daughters when the man of the house (Wolf‘s Jack Scalia) took a powder. Mills goes on welfare, gets a college degree, and then secures a good job; the daughters comfort each other and grow up to be fine, if emotionally scarred, people. The movie builds to an inevitable confrontation: After many years, the women locate Scalia and tell him how much he has hurt them.

As a weasel without any remorse, Scalia is awfully convincing; Mills, however, seems perpetually distracted by the fact that she’s a brunet in this show rather than her usual bombshell blond self. A florid, pseudo-feminist self-help story, Runaway Father boils down to this: Men — can’t live with ’em, but very nicely without ’em, thank you. C-

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