The Year's Arts

The fantastical was made flesh and a skewed reality took over the tube. One sure bet: things will get stranger still

There's a term in the arts-fin-de-siecle-for end-of-the-century ennui. So why none for the vague sense of disappointment when a century begins and precious little changes? In the year 2000--the year 2000!--we were supposed to be listening to Theremin symphonies and watching theater in our heads. Instead, we were slinging misogynist raps and hosting game shows, just like yesterday.

Which isn't to say that all of the shows were worthless. Television's The West Wing was showered with Emmys, but more popular--and more weirdly gripping--was Survivor, starring 16 real people conniving on a tropical island. In the year 2000, professed reality battled...

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