Sunday, May 30, 2010


I've said it before, I'll say it again: Sometimes even I don't understand my obsessions.

Case in point: My fascination with bad TV from the seventies and early eighties.  Probably this is due as much as anything to the fact that this was the era in which I formed so much of my aesthetic sense, when I decided what was good and what was bad, what I would take with me for the rest of my life.

1980 was a good year for deciding such things.  New music included The Clash's Sandinista!, the first album from Suicide, Pete Townshend's Empty Glass, Steely Dan's Gaucho and Steveie Wonder's Hotter Than July, all as essential as oxygen.  Movies were even better: Raging Bull, Bad Timing, The Stunt Man, The Long Riders, The Tin Drum.

Amazing stuff.  But if the good was easily enough appreciated, it took an archeologist's skill to dig through the wasteland of network TV to find the worst of the worst.  I watched Eischeid, for God's sake.  I watched Pink Lady And Jeff.  I thought I knew how bad it could get.

But somehow, I missed Marie, a very short-lived variety program intended to showcase the many talents of Marie Osmond.  And because I never saw this at the time, I come to it now and stare at it in slack-jawed disbelief, and can only ask the obvious question: What the hell were they thinking?