If you get off on getting even, you'll probably enjoy "Sweet Revenge," tonight's "CBS Wednesday Night Movie" (Channel 9 at 9).
This is two hours of drama -- or rather dramatic story-telling -- that is so one-dimensional it puts soap opera to shame. Nevertheless, it is not without a kernel of social redemption here and a couple of good performances there. And although it isn't exactly gripping, it does pique one's curiosity about how it all comes out.
Helen Hunt, a charming young actress (most recently Dr. Morrison's love interest on "St. Elsewhere"), appears in a flashback to 14 years ago as Debbie, a teen-ager who is no better than she should be, as they say. She has no trouble seducing Col. Cheever, her general-dad's aide-de-camp, a thoroughgoing rotter and philanderer played by Kevin Dobson.
Debbie gets pregnant, agrees to a Mexican abortion and promptly dies, a passing reminder of the horrors of illegal abortions by septic amateurs. A shame. Her performance is the best in the show.
Cheever, a dastardly churl who gets churlisher and churlisher, manages to convince Debbie's dad that a junior officer was responsible for both her condition and death. Said junior officer is hounded out of the service. Aha. His sister Katherine was Debbie's best friend.
Fourteen years later, Katherine (now played by Kelly McGillis) is -- ah, small world -- picked up in a bar by an officer from the very same base. Love at first sight. Instant marriage.
The rotten Col. Cheever is still there, Katherine spots him and, with single-minded purpose, eyes ablaze with homicidal mania, sets out to avenge her brother's disgrace and eventual suicide, not to mention her best friend Debbie's ill-fated abortion.
Things proceed with not quite complete predictability and not quite first-rate acting. Don't worry, if the doorbell rings and you have to dispense sealed packets of goodies to the Trick or Treat set. You won't miss anything crucial.
Churlish Cheever gets his.