TV Nation (TV Series 1994–1995) Poster

(1994–1995)

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Series One- Good. Series Two- Huh?
HoodedHatstand5 August 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The first series of TV Nation was witty, provocative and a damn good watch. Louis Theroux visiting the KKK was a particular highlight, as was Moore challenging American's CEO's to perform the menial tasks of their workers in order to justify their salaries- only the CEO of Ford took him up on the challenge, but I'm digressing. Another highlight was the horrendous purchases of health insurance from AIDS patients by money brokers who turned this into a morbid yet highly profitable business. I have never seen anything as disturbing.

The second series seemed to lack punch. Crackers the Corporate Crime Fighting Chicken was ridiculous and damaged the show and the former KGB Officer just didn't make any sense at all.

It's worth a look for the first series- when Moore hadn't been reduced to agitprop and actually made valid arguments.
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some good, but others are blatant misrepresentations of the truth
baconbit21 April 2003
I remember this show coming to a city near my home town for TV Nation Day. Moore had lobbied to get a certain day declared TV Nation Day in the US to show how easy it is to buy congressmen. The bill WAS introduced, but not voted on in time. The small city of Fishkill, NY decided to declare that day TV Nation Day on their own and to celebrate the city and show held a parade down it's small main street followed by a celebration at a small mall with a showing of Roger & Me. I was at the parade and can vouch that the footage shown that night on TV was NOT indicative of the parade or the city of Fishkill at the time. The city HAD fallen on hard times with the bad economy, mostly IBM closing a local plant in a city that relied on IBM. However, it was NOT as bad as the show would have viewers believe. Michael Moore's contention was that the economy was horrible. So to back it up, they used creative camera angles to give the impression that Main Street was almost totally vacant. It was not. But by shooting several different angles of the same vacant stores, TV Nation made it look like almost every building was vacant. After seeing this first hand, I never took this show, or anything Michael Moore did seriously ever again. Who knows what other lies he has told.
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Entertaining but...
Croooow23 February 2002
That's about all one can say for this twice-failed TV series which had talent behind it but unfortunately most of the talent had nothing to do with the creator, Michael Moore. He is notorious for his hypocrisy on the "working man" (few if any walked away from this show saying that it was a good "working experience") and all in all, a one-trick pony who has since fallen deeply, deeply in love with himself and made some of the most insensitive remarks about 9/11 on record. An entertaining show, yes, but only because of the real talent involved (I'm thinking Janeane Garofalo and a few others). C
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I love Michael Moore
MatrixFn30 April 2000
Michael Moore is one of the funniest guys I've ever seen. One can't help but love his style, even while disagreeing with what he has to say. As a stanch conservative, I find it amazing that such a liberal person and I could have so much in common.

TV Nation was one of my favorite shows for its brief lifespan. I especially enjoyed the episode where they lobbied for TV Nation day and the one where he visited Clinton's home town.

To Moore nothing is sacred, not even the leaders of his own political party and for this, more than anything else, I can admire him. He reminds us that life is no fun if we take things too seriously.
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9/10
A Show That Should Have Lasted
Desertman8429 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
After the success of the documentary Roger and Me,Warner Bros. asked Michael Moore to be the host,writer and directed of a news magazine series that would blend humor and journalism as well as provocative reports about current events and various issues surrounding the nation.It came up with a show entitled,TV Nation.It was originally shown by NBC in the United States and BBC2 in the United Kingdom.

The topics that it features focused on business practices by corporations,the reports on labor union activities,criticizing right-wing politics and the unfair exploitation of the poor and little by the rich and powerful in society.

TV Nation provides viewers a lot of eye-openers about current events that was happening in the country back when it was on air during the 90's.It definitely provided Americans a better understanding of what is happening currently in the economy amidst the Great Recession and the impending Great Collapse that some are obviously predicting in a few years to come.In addition to that,it will also provide a clear view about left and right political beliefs.While this show is obviously made by a liberal propagandist,there is no secret in our mind that Michael Moore is on the side of poor and the little rather than the rich and the powerful.

This is definitely one show that should have lasted more than two seasons.
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8/10
A show way ahead of its time
rgcustomer11 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I had the opportunity to re-watch some VHS recordings of this show on NBC and Fox, and I'm amazed at how ahead-of-its time it really was.

I think we can easily regard this show as one of the ancestors of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, by the combining the four ingredients: humour, television, left-leaning populism, and a great research team.

It also seems to have laid groundwork for some top films of the last few years.

Some connections that impressed me:

Season 1, Episode 2, "Kuwait" segment, showing that Kuwait is not a free democracy as any Westerner would understand it, might as well have an Iraq follow-up, right? The results of US spreading "democracy" in Iraq seem considerably worse, actually.

Season 1, Episode 3, "Dr. Death" segments, foreshadow the HBO biopic You Don't Know Jack (2010).

Season 1, regular Episode 6, "Neighbors" segment, predating the Sept. 11 attacks, shows how oblivious and passive people can be when murderous neighbors move in.

Season 1, regular Episode 7, "Corporate Consultants" segment covers similar ground to Up In The Air (2009).

Season 2, Episode 1, "Crime Scene Cleanup" segment seems as if it has inspired Sunshine Cleaning (2008).

Season 2, Episode 4, "Aquarium" segment on towns trying to save themselves by building aquariums is ever timely, as even my own rust-belt city has recently proposed this idiocy to revitalize our economy. We can't even keep the grass alive, and they think we can keep exotic fish alive.

There's an unaired segment about Sam Phelps-Roper, which again foreshadows The Most Hated Family in America (2007).

I hope this series becomes available on DVD, in full (including unaired segments and the episode only broadcast overseas). VHS is just agonizing to watch these days.
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9/10
Moore at his best IMHO
S.R. Dipaling4 July 2007
Even though he is now much more renowned for his movie docs("Roger and Me","Bowling for Columbine" and the incendiary "Fahrenheit 9/11"),to me,Michael Moore was probably at his best at the helm of this sharp,dryly(perhaps bitterly)funny and relentless hour show which lasted all of two years on NBC(1st season)and FOX(2nd season).

I say he was at the best on this show because it allowed him and a veritable crew of confederates(Janeane GArofolo,Jeff Stilson,Louis Theroux,Rusty Cundieff among others)to pierce through the veil of respectability that large corporations and conservative media barons and talking pieces(at the time,that would've been primarily the likes of Rush Limabugh,with probably Bob Grant,PAt Buchanan,Ken Hamblen and Oliver North somewhere behind him in terms of popularity)would happily put on and much of the popular,everyday so-called liberal media would gladly accept without hardly more than a low yelp of criticism(I mean,if Larry King is your best voice for opposition of conservative talk radio or TV,that's not saying much). The segments had more humor in them,a real sense of daring and a much more matter-of-fact sense of contrarism that seems to be missing in his now much more confrontational,direct polemics that he's known for now. Some more notable segments were profiling a gun club for Congressional wives,an attempt to try to sell off the infamous barge of garbage that circled the western hemisphere for much of the early nineties,an in-depth interview(And tour of his farm and shooting range)of Conservative rocker Ted Nugent and a mascot chicken that went to various corporations and awarded them for their cowardice in dealing with various malfeasance(naturally,there are several confrontations with first floor security that are priceless).

I suppose that a show like "TV NAtion" was probably WAY too subversive to be a network stalwart,hence its short lifespan. I only wish Mr. Moore had pressed this show onto cable,and didn't instead try to re-con-fig this into an even shorter-lived series called "The Awful Truth"(which I haven't seen,will need to out of curiosity,even though I've read at least one review say it wasn't as good as "Nation").Nevertheless,I truly appreciated this series,and when I ran across this again on a video tape I had made of it from years before(of course),it didn't take me long to realize how much I liked this show and its spirit. While I think as a political firebrand and troublemaker Moore had probably "jumped the shark",I still think he should keep on keeping' on,and another show like "TV Nation" would be just the thing to do it with.in my humble opinion.
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10/10
NBC wouldn't let them say "condom", but would show a violent movie like "Dirty Harry"
Lee Eisenberg23 April 2007
Apparently, when "TV Nation" debuted, Michael Moore decided that since we supposedly freed Kuwait in the Gulf War, to see how free they really were. That was just a start to his quest to expose the radical right for what it really was. The Republican seizure of power a few months after the debut naturally gave Moore more (sorry for the pun) material that he could have ever dreamed of.

Look, I know that the right wing likes to claim that Michael Moore lies about everything, but from what I can tell, they still claim that Saddam Hussein ordered the 9/11 attacks. They're just bitter that "Bowling for Columbine" won Best Documentary Feature and that "Fahrenheit 9/11" won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. As far as I'm concerned, Michael Moore speaks for world opinion.

Anyway, I totally recommend this TV show. Also read Michael Moore's books and Al Franken's books to learn more about these topics.
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Very smart
MisterWhiplash10 July 2000
This is a news/magazine shoe- there is no doubt of that. But instead of other shows like Dateline and 20/20, this show focuses on finding people and trying to find out why they did this or that. And who better to lead the pack than the king of the downsized worker and down on there luck person- Michael Moore. He brings to the small screen a lot of funny and smart stuff that was also seen on the big one in Roger and me. The only difference being that this time It's on weekly (not anymore actually, It's been replaced by The Awful Truth, which isn't the worst). Very smart and funny, and of course the show draws sympathy. A+
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An alternative to Rush
hilt30 October 1998
The funniest liberal since... well how about just the funniest liberal. To Michael Moore nothing is sacred, and nothing should be. The Working Class Hero attacks everyone and everything showing the ludicrous side of politics, to the ridiculous side of life. Watch as he challenges CEO's of major companies to do the smallest of tasks (i.e., the CEO of IBM to format a disk, etc.), howl with laughter as he goes to Bosnia and interviews people on the "return of Democracy" inter-weaved with video from President Bush. Poignant, funny and just outrageous.
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Michael Moore, American Hero
rehaufler28 March 2004
This was a fantastic television show and Michael Moore demonstrated incredible courage in the very first episode where he endeavored to relocate his show to Mexico, and showed some of the GE facilities there (note this was an NBC show, and NBC is owned by GE, thus Michael Moore confronted his employer, in the first episode!!). Note that GE is one of, if not the largest defense contractors, and owns one of, if not the largest broadcast network. Can you spell conflict of interest?

Needless to say, this was a very short lived television show.

In each episode, the program was used to show provocative and ironic issues in this amazing country. Things showed are things that those responsible would very much prefer to keep secret. Is this good? I say flick on the lights and chase the rats away. That is what these shows did.

I you were going about your regular day and saw Michael Moore approaching with mike and camera, would you run away, or would you be delighted and wait and stay.

I would guess that much can be said about you depending on this hypothetical choice.

There are many of us that want justice in this country and many who want something else. What that is, I cannot even begin to guess (greed?).

I find that I fall in line with Michael Moore on most issues. I suspect that most Americans actually do, really, most Americans are not loud about their thoughts and beliefs. Maybe they should be. This show will help promote thinking about important and interesting stuff.

Gun control - good and necessary. Where I live, guns are used way too often to kill - it is a constant tragedy. US public education should be good - what kind of person disagrees with this? This is a country supposed to be FOR the people and should be BY the people - heck, that is is the preamble of the US constitution - and it is nowhere near the case.

If you want to contemplate these kinds of issues, pro or con, this is a television series for you.
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