Picks and Pans Review: Star Search

updated 07/23/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/23/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Syndicated (Check local listings)

In the long if not honored tradition of Major Bowes, Ted Mack and Ed Sullivan, smiling Ed McMahon is looking for talent. He's found some in his first season (now in reruns). Sam Harris, a zeppelin-lunged singer from Oklahoma, makes the show worthwhile; he's always breathtaking. (Harris, in fact, won the top male vocalist prize of $100,000 and a Motown recording contract.) There have been some good comics and singing groups too. But Star Search has its ludicrous talent categories: "Spokesmodels" show less talent than Miss America contestants; all they have to do is smile vacantly. And acting contestants perform in pathetic little scenes with real stars (some of whom could stand some lessons themselves). To discover true hidden talent is exciting indeed; that moment comes fairly rarely on Star Search (though that shouldn't be too surprising; true hidden talent is rare, as any crop of TV pilots will prove). Because Star Search is syndicated, it's taped and run in different cities at different times. Too bad it's not live and on a network so we could all vote on the talent (instead of a panel of talent agents); that too might well make Star Search exciting.

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