Television: Viewpoints

Early one recent morning, two groups of women clad in nightgowns could be glimpsed on New York television madly wheeling two brass bedsteads up and down a sun-drenched parking lot, squealing and squawking, while a well-dressed humanoid alternately shouted encouragement and insults from the sidelines.

Public Broadcasting starting its day with an old absurdist film from Roman Polanski's student days? No, just the game-show people beginning theirs with Truth or Consequences, the first of no fewer than 25 half-hours of vapid-fire questions and gaudy prizes. On through the day come a succession of...

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