Picks and Pans Review: Reality Is Cheap

updated 09/05/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/05/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Yes, sir, here's just what TV needs: one more tabloidy magazine show and a few more talk shows. The new series we're looking at this week aren't all awful—but they certainly are an overdose. We have at least a dozen national talk shows plus too many TV magazines now—and even more such shows are coming our way this fall (see story, page 90). Lamenting this trend, I'm afraid I may sound like my parents used to when they complained about the gritty movies of the '60s. But when I turn on the TV now, I want some drama and humor, some escape from the relentless reality of the rest of the day. Yet fictional TV is expensive: You need a story, a script, a director, actors, imagination and maybe even something worth saying. Reality TV is easy: All you need is any old boob (or Geraldo Rivera) to look at the camera and talk. So this week we look at a few such easy shows (then one movie).

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