Picks and Pans Review: Lost Weekend
The Statue of Liberty deserved more dignity than ABC and producer David L. Wolper gave her. Wolper recycled every trick and every bit of imagination he used in the '84 Olympics. He produced a four-day show that was not only overdone, smarmy and commercial, but also just plain tacky—the sort of event at which even the Chief Justice of the United States goes show biz and, to quote ABC, "takes to the stage." In the end, the Statue of Liberty and the idea of liberty were all but lost in a marathon of forced hoopla. So was entertainment. Liberty Weekend made for bad and boring TV. I've seen more enjoyable production numbers in Oscar shows, even in an occasional Miss America pageant (the 200 Elvis impersonators and their Jazzercise ladies were even more humiliating to national pride than I could have imagined). The old-fogyish "closing ceremonies" didn't show the honest, heart-felt spirit of any high school's halftime show, nor did they display a tenth the precision of the Goodwill Games opening in Moscow. And all the while, ABC "News" wasn't reporting—they were selling. So for wasting my weekend, I give ABC and Wolper a D—. But that's not to say that the Lady wasn't lovely; she was. The tall ships were graceful and, bless 'em, quiet. And I certainly enjoyed that special moment when the wind off New York Harbor did the impossible—mussing Ted Koppel's hair.
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