Wednesday, September 3, 2008
For years, critics have bemoaned the death of entertainment on commercial television. Oh where, oh where have those old programs gone on the Big Three networks? Remember Omnibus, the Hallmark Hall of Fame Hour, even the Ed Sullivan show with Topo Gigot? Sadly the old softshoe, the variety skits and the June Taylor dancers have faded away. Now we have all these reality shows done on the cheap, featuring contestants eating bugs or trying Jackass stunts. (Where DO they get these folks?) As our mothers might ask, "So, mister, you call this entertainment???"
But fear not, this summer -- the season when TV traditionally tests new programming -- comes a new form of TV entertainment. What better to get your jollies than the new show called "Convention"? Think of it, each week a major party could be given their own network nighttime slot, with their own brand of entertainment. The Dems this year had a fondness for the soulfulness for Stevie Wonder, while GOP serenaded its troupe with the twang of Gretchen Wilson.
Of course, in the old days, conventions really had some drama (or least we thought so). Remember when Bobby Kennedy worked the floor of the convention, shoring up any strayers from the Kennedys cause. Ah for the old days of baited breath, cigar smoke and backroom deals! For more than 25 years -- since Reagan challenged Gerald Ford at the 1976 convention -- there hasn't been much drama at either convention. So bring on the music and comedy! It's the best thing on TV this summer.