TV THOMPSON by Glendon & Kathryn Swarthout


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Kids who watch too much TV are flabby, ill-mannered, and poor in school; they eat the wrong kind of food, can't catch a ball, don't appreciate their parents or love their pets, have no real heroes, and suffer from atrophy of the ""imaginer."" Such is the message of ""teachery"" Dudley the bookworm, who takes TV Thompson, an eleven-going-on-ten tube addict, on a cautionary tour inside the set. The whole story is as didactic as Dudley sounds, and though an encounter toward the end with a group of dehumanized, ""electronic"" children, and another with TV Thompson's doppleganger in CONTROL, are properly chilling -- earlier projections of professional athletes, entertainers, an espionage and a Western star, and a family called the Typicals, are as contrived and predictable as the world they are devised to satirize. TV learns at last what even his fellow ""True Viewers"" must be tired of hearing -- that in Televisionland the people are all ""fakos"" and what counts is ""not what you are but how much you can sell."" Back in the real world he proves his conversion by becoming absorbed in reading Through the Looking Glass -- a comparison the Swarthouts invite at their peril.

Pub Date: Feb. 4th, 1971
Publisher: Doubleday