Television: The Bodies in Question

The new season puts a lecherous sneer back into sex

Blame it on OPEC. Blame it on the mood of the country. Blame it on Suzanne Somers. Blame it on anything you want; there's plenty to go around. As the new TV comedy series finally slink into view after the actors' strike, an ominous trend becomes evident. The witty humanism of the best '70s shows—Mary Tyler Moore, MASH, Taxi—has given way to jokes built around bustlines and pratfalls. Out goes the humor of social complicity, of reasonably mature characters; in stomps the japery of...

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