, the television series based on Gloria Naylor's novel The Women of Brewster Place
, follows the lives of a handful of strong black women through their struggles, triumphs, and deep friendships.
Gloria Naylor's lyrical and powerful prose would be difficult to translate into an equally powerful television series, and though Brewster Placeis an admirable effort, it's not entirely successful. The episodes, while entertaining, lack the impact of Naylor's novel. They attempt to accomplish too much in too short a time, and are occasionally sitcom-like--banal allegories rather than real drama.
Still, Brewster Place offers an impressive collection of talent, particularly Oprah Winfrey. As Mattie Michael, the matriarch of Brewster Place, Winfrey holds these episodes together with consistently heartfelt and believable performances. --Mara Friedman