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A serious effort about how TV talk shows ruin lives - and on occasion, as with Jenny Jones, take them away. Co-written by Peter Horton who also plays the negotiator, directed by Roger Spottiswoode (48 Hrs., Turner & Hooch, Air America, Tomorrow Never Dies), with excellent work in the leading roles by David Morse and Marg Helgenberger (CSI, Erin Brockovich). The irony is thick here - the movie is the property of NBC, perpetrator of the infamous quiz show 'Twenty-One' which later became the subject of the Robert Redford movie.
The tenet is good, but it is concise and to the point, and so cannot be satisfactorily stretched into feature film format. Once the point has been made, there is little to do except introduce more and more plot vehicles to carry the movie to its somewhat unsatisfactory conclusion. This is nevertheless a noteworthy movie, and it's good that someone took the time to make this statement - even if it was the hypocritical NBC. But as the Morse character says, 'you vote with your remote', and the life-endangering 'crap' these shows churn out will be around as long (but only as long) as mindless TV viewers continue to beg to be fed on it.
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