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The Reality Show You'll Never See: People Who Aren't Addicted to TV!

ON TV

December 28, 1999|BRIAN LOWRY

During the latter half of this century, television has frequently served as the glue connecting society, capturing moments--from the Kennedy assassination to the Challenger explosion, the Berlin Wall coming down to Y2K coming up--which would have been experienced far differently in the pre-TV age.

To an absurd extreme, television also conveys celebrity. Instead of going into hiding, Monica Lewinsky chatted with Barbara Walters and went on "Saturday Night Live." John Carpenter, the top-prize winner on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," subsequently graced People magazine's cover for remembering, appropriately enough, that Richard Nixon was the president who appeared on "Laugh-In."

Watching TV has never been fashionable, but dim as it tends to be, few can resist its glow. Because the truth is, it's where most of us will turn Friday seeking reassurance that all hell isn't breaking loose, achieving a sense of immediacy no other communications medium can match.

In less frenetic times, Hart prefers alternatives that let her and her husband march to the beat of their own drummer.

"The radio's wonderful," she said. "We can find our kind of music."

Believe it or not, it's playing on television, too--assuming, that is, you know where to look.

Brian Lowry's column appears on Tuesdays. He can be reached by e-mail at brian.lowry@latimes.com.

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