Saturday, April 23, 2005

EXPLAINING WHY TWOP RECAPS ARE 14 PAGES LONG: As usual, the New York Times Magazine is an uncommon bounty for us around here. The lengthy Michael Lewis piece taking a look at steroids in minor league ball from the perspective of two of the players profiled in Moneyball is worth enough, but better still is this piece, arguing that"Watching TV Makes You Smarter." That piece examines the transition from the network TV of the 70s, with a small number of regular cast members and a single major plot arc, typically self-contained, to the modern era, where most shows (though "Law and Order" is an exception) have oodles of recurring characters and multiple plots in any given week, and argues that it all started with "Hill Street Blues." (On an unrelated note, why on earth has "Hill Street" not made its way to DVD yet?) Even sitcoms like "Sports Night," "Cheers," and "Friends" have joined the parade of complex things, with evolving plotlines and many characters. Fascinating reading, and, it'll make you feel better about your excessive TV watching.

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