Show Business: Viewpoints: Nostalgia on Wheels

Nostalgia is turning television into a vehicle for vehicles. Since most of the people who write and direct TV series have yet to create more than a handful of convincing contemporary Americans, it is probably hopeless to expect them to imagine realistically people contending with, or shaped by, antique historical forces—and easy to see why they so readily traffic in antique autos instead. It is so simple to take a picture of an old car going buckety-buckety across the screen, so hard to come honestly to grips with the way things were.

Probably the most serious charge of vehicular homicide of the...

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