The Beast, the Eunuch, and the Glass-Eyed Child: Television in the '80s

Ron Powers, Author
Ron Powers, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P $24.95 (382p) ISBN 978-0-15-111251-7
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
Powers, the first TV critic to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize, here offers a collection of his GQ columns, 1984-1990. The pieces reveal an articulate, civilized reviewer who is profoundly disturbed by certain trends in televisionland. His targets include children's programs, which he argues are calculated to create future consumers; the spreading influence of USA Today -type news broadcasts that do not cover news, and are only headlines; and the unending procession of talk-show celebrities who have no claim to fame other than their celebrity. Readers will respond to Powers's profound lament that ``television in our time has virulently attacked the very consciousness of a world beyond itself.'' He is not sanguine that mainstream television will redeem itself and sees hope only in the newly resurgent ``independent movement'' and in public television. This is a searching and disturbing anthology. (May)
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