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Winfrey's appeal is considerable and should, for a time, guarantee curiosity-fueled high ratings. It's a warm and serious show, a television time capsule that takes us to a quieter, safer and better place. [1 May 1990]
Winfrey ... displays some of the appealing humanity that also characterizes her work on her syndicated talk show. ... But "Brewster Place" is so saccharine and enervating and [Winfrey's] Mattie so sorrowful and subdued that you feel weary just watching. Not too weary to change channels, however. [1 May 1990]
The show reduces some of its actors, notably Cole, to stereotypical shtick. There are too many characters and too many emotional shifts, but not enough depth. Viewers who visit the neighborhood of Brewster Place won't get close to its people. [1 May 1990]