By Ken Tucker
Updated September 24, 1993 at 04:00 AM EDT

I’m dismayed that Angel falls (CBS, Thursdays, 10-11 p.m.) hasn’t lured more viewers away from the poker-faced pseudo-news of Prime-Time Live. Falls is a frothy soap opera about Rae Dawn Snow (Chelsea Field) and her complicated life in her tiny hometown in Montana. Rae Dawn runs a local hangout where the pool players stare at the rear of her too-tight jeans when she brings a pitcher of beer to a table. This gets her teenage son all riled up; he’s played by Jeremy London, who, as he did on I’ll Fly Away, exists primarily to have his innocence betrayed while looking handsome. His Sonny doesn’t seem to know whether he’s mad at his mother, for leading men on; at the men, for leering at his mother; or at himself, for noticing that his mother has a nice rear end. As if this weren’t tempestuous enough, Rae Dawn is having an affair with a married rancher (the blank-faced but blissful Brian Kerwin), whose wife (Wild Palms’ Kim Cattrall) is putting the moves on a new hired hand who may have murdered someone. I barely have room to mention the town’s stalwart basketball coach (TV vet James Brolin, looking good) and his wife, who faints with emotion at ladies’ club poetry readings (played by Peggy Lipton, looking even better). Angel Falls is one of the few prime-time soaps overseen by women: Joyce Eliason, the creator and an executive producer, writes the episodes, most of which are directed by Joyce Chopra (Small Talk). Perhaps as a result, the male characters here are as sexy as the women, and there’s an emotional lyricism to Falls that renders its trashiness irresistible. So stop resisting. B+