TV preview: 'Nothing Lasts Forever'

You expect a load of glittery soap-opera hooey from something called "Sidney Sheldon's Nothing Lasts Forever" (9 p.m. today and Tuesday, WJZ, Channel 13).

It's the tale of three female doctors, trapped by tempestuous fates as they serve their tumultuous residencies at San Francisco's Embarcadero Hospital. And one of these hotshot physicians, Dr. Beth Taft, played by none other than Brooke Shields, is a promiscuous sex kitten who hops from bed to bed and even spreads "oil of raspberry" on her lovers. Whoa.


But thanks to a solid script by Gerald DePego, "Nothing Lasts Forever" is an occasionally absorbing, well-crafted cut above the average potboiler.

Besides Ms. Shields, who actually offers a fairly respectable performance, the cast includes pop singer/actress Vanessa Williams and "NYPD Blue" star Gail O'Grady.


Ms. Williams is Dr. Kat Hunter, an aloof, reserved doctor known as Black Ice by the male physicians in the hospital. She's haunted by an abusive past. And she has trouble warming up to the romantic invitations of men.

Fortunately, the heart of this two-night miniseries focuses on Ms. O'Grady's Dr. Paige Taylor, a surgeon who is so dedicated that she sometimes becomes too involved in the lives of her patients. She's charged with murder as "Nothing Lasts Forever" opens, an alleged crime linked to her efforts to care for a pain-ridden cancer patient.

There are nice supporting performances by Chris Noth (late of "Law & Order") as a doctor looking to melt Black Ice, Gerald McRaney ("Major Dad") as an ultra-arrogant surgeon and Lloyd Bridges as the aforementioned cancer patient.

But it's the talented, emotionally affecting Ms. O'Grady who carries the day in "Nothing Lasts Forever," investing this medical melodrama with just enough heart and soul to lift it out of the lame soap-opera zone.