Not Remotely Controlled
Notes on Television
Basic Books, $15.95, 304 pp.
A television review has the shelf life of a popsicle in August: its value is in the moment. A TV program that proves to be a failure will vanish from public consciousness, carrying the commentator’s observations with it. A show that succeeds will insinuate itself into the culture and become a fact of life, as critic-proof as gravity, or the Pacific Ocean. Shock over the finale to The Sopranos reverberated for weeks through the press, but...
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