Running Off at the Mouth

Mothers-in-law from hell and other lunacies rule the proliferating talk shows

Teri Copley, who once played a blond airhead on the sitcom We Got It Made, isn't exactly a high-profile Hollywood celebrity these days. Still, she had plenty to say on a recent segment of the Maury Povich Show. Povich's subject was the dumb-blond stereotype. Teri was against it. "I get the feeling," said Maury, pondering one of her more heartfelt comments, "that you're into self-awareness big time."

Self-awareness is television's big-time plague. Name the social issue, front-page crime or family trauma, and somebody is thrashing it out on a TV talk show. A listing of typical topics is a surrealistic blur...

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