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UPDATED 08/22/1994 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 08/22/1994 at 01:00 AM EDT

EVERY SOCIETY OBSERVES A CEREMONIAL passage into adulthood. I'm convinced that in our culture the turning point takes place—as does so much else in our lives—in front of the TV set. The line of demarcation is made manifest in our response while watching the first few minutes of a show, when we realize the episode is awfully familiar. The child's reaction: "Hey, I've seen this one before. Cool!" The adult: "Oh, no. It's a rerun. Aaargh!"

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