THE INCREDIBLE TELEVISION MACHINE by Lee & Eda LeShan Polk

THE INCREDIBLE TELEVISION MACHINE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In a condescending tone uncharacteristic of LeShan but reflecting perhaps Polk's background in children's TV, the authors begin by defending the medium against the common charges (too much violence, time-wasting), and their section on commercials repeatedly points out that the shoddy practices they cite are no longer allowed. The rest reflects television's preoccupation with gimmicky presentation: programming is treated in a chapter-long scenario in which ""you"" as station manager select the features best suited to ""helping your audience rather than wasting their time""; the medium's history is sneaked in via Polk's reminiscences about his own career; the ""heavy stuff""--FCC, ratings, pressure groups--is discussed in an interview between the two authors (LeShan: ""Don't tell me too much--I get confused by too many scientific facts"")--and even then they seem nervous that their audience might switch channels before they get back to the entertainment with a skit in which detective Celery Keen sniffs out the MIP (most important person) in television. The answer? You, the audience. But you, the reader, deserve more respect.

Pub Date: Sept. 12th, 1977
Publisher: Macmillan