CBS Schoolbreak Special: American Eyes You know you have a mediocre Schoolbreak Special if you can figure out the Big Educational Theme in the first five minutes. That's the way… CBS Schoolbreak Special: American Eyes You know you have a mediocre Schoolbreak Special if you can figure out the Big Educational Theme in the first five minutes. That's the way… Drama Jason Scott Lee Brian Krause CBS
TV Review

CBS Schoolbreak Special: American Eyes (1990)

EW's GRADE
C-

Details Genre: Drama; With: Jason Scott Lee; Network: CBS

You know you have a mediocre Schoolbreak Special if you can figure out the Big Educational Theme in the first five minutes. That's the way it is in the hokey, obvious American Eyes. Its theme is Teenage Prejudice — in this case, how a young Korean faces up to his adoption by an American family.

As Herb Stein has directed this drama, we're supposed to believe that John (Jason Scott Lee), though adopted as an infant, is only now, at 16, experiencing prejudice. Given that most of the teens on his street, in school, and on his basketball team insult or snub him, this seems ludicrous. There's no way this bunch of yahoos would have restrained their crudity until now.

But then John's adoptive parents (David Ogden Stiers and Concetta Tomei) send him to a Korean ''heritage camp,'' where John learns to feel proud of his Korean heritage — and meets a beautiful Korean girl. By reducing prejudice to a matter of its victim's pride and hormones, American Eyes turns its subject into an all-too-easily-solved problem. C-

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Originally posted Mar 23, 1990 Published in issue #6 Mar 23, 1990 Order article reprints