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"Lou Grant" Blacklist (1982)

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Dated and loaded with coincidence

Author: LCShackley from United States
3 June 2010

A lot of people complain that LOU GRANT was too leftist in its political leaning. After 30 years, most of the episodes seem fairly tame in that regard, but this one dredges up one of Hollywood's favorite topics: the evil HUAC and the "blacklists" of the early 50s. As a result, all the usual clichés are recycled, which makes this episode tedious. It even ends with a room full of people singing "This Land is Your Land" (which actually was a pro-communist song in its original version), for an especially cloying touch.

Even worse, the cast is loaded with phony characters. Rossi suddenly has a girlfriend from the newspaper staff, who works just a couple of desks away. They seem fairly involved, but she has never appeared before. But of course...her father is a blacklisted folk singer. (And of course, she is black, which I suppose made their very chaste kiss somewhat of a scandal in 1982.)

Then there's another "manufactured" newsroom employee, William Schallert, who plays the "bad guy" who ratted out his friends during the McCarthy era. He has never been there before, but everyone acts like he's a regular. This kind of thing became more and more common in the fifth season. I guess the producers were running out of ideas for the regular cast, and had to add new people to make stories work.

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