A critic once noted that Steven Allen seemed to have succeeded by virtue of being mediocre at many things. If anything illustrated the extent to which Allen's reach exceeded his grasp -- and the extent to which he could be dragged below the level of mediocrity in his attempts to keep afloat the career of his wife, Jayne Meadows -- it was this show.
The pretense of this show was that some of the most influential thinkers of history would be assembled to converse one with another -- an outstanding assemblage of "talking heads" as it were. Of course, these were figures as Allen conceptualized them, and he really couldn't conceptualize a mind that rose above his own banalities. Thus, for example, Alleged Aristotle yammers trivially about the obvious difference between all X being Y and all Y being X, instead of exhibiting some of the true profundity of his thinking. And the caricature of Marx gets treated with kid gloves by the other caricatures, because Allen couldn't himself have properly understood or critiqued Marx.
Most ghastly of all, Jayne Meadows appears in every episode, ostensibly as, say, Marie Antoinette or as Elizabeth Barrett Browning, but really as candied ham long past its sell-by date.
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