Skip to content

We ask you, humbly: don't scroll away.

Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you.

Help Now >

"The Russell Girl," Jan. 27, CBS

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

NEW YORK (CNS) -- After being diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia, a young buyer at a Chicago department store returns to the small town in which she grew up to share the news with her family. What she learns during her time at home is the subject of "The Russell Girl," a sensitive two-hour Hallmark Hall of Fame drama that premieres Sunday, Jan. 27, 9-11 p.m. EST on CBS.


By John Mulderig
Catholic News Service (
1/16/2008 (1 decade ago)

Published in TV

Sarah Russell (Amber Tamblyn) is a woman burdened by more than one secret. In addition to the news of her illness, which she has difficulty breaking to her perennially optimistic parents, Gayle and Paul (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Tim DeKay), she also carries the memory -- and guilt -- of an accident six years earlier for which she still feels responsible, and which drove her to leave town in the first place.

Sarah now finds herself once again in emotional conflict with a grieving couple who live across the street, Lorraine and Howard Morrissey (Jennifer Ehle and Henry Czerny). We gradually learn that they blame their loss on Sarah. The latter craves forgiveness, but believes that her cancer is a deserved punishment for her sins, and abjures treatment.

Sarah's guilt also complicates her relationship with her ex-boyfriend, Evan (Paul Wesley). The cause of their original breakup -- her feelings of shame -- continue to divide them, despite Evan's insistence that he loves her and his continued support.

Sarah's parents have found out that she has been accepted to medical school, forcing Sarah to continue the ruse that she's happily planning for the future.

Sarah's secret becomes even more burdensome once she becomes symptomatic. The film -- directed by Jeff Bleckner -- is starkly emotional, but never grim. It grapples with mortality, grief and the need for truth and the possibility of reconciliation, while it derives subtlety from its main characters' inability to communicate with each other.

In keeping with many of its "Hall of Fame" predecessors over the past half-century, "The Russell Girl" bears the unmistakable hallmark of intelligent, carefully wrought television. While the program's content is entirely unobjectionable, its serious themes preclude the youngest children.


Copyright (c) 2007 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

Join the Movement
When you sign up below, you don't just join an email list - you're joining an entire movement for Free world class Catholic education.

Saint of the Day logo
Prayer of the Day logo

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2024 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2024 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.