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Underrated / Overrated

July 05, 2009

UNDERRATED

'Battle of the Network Stars': With every attempt to recapture the magic of the TV classic (this time it's with ABC's actors-and-athletes series "The Superstars"), the more elusive this perfect storm of lowbrow entertainment and high comedy proves to be. Want proof? Search YouTube for "Robert Conrad vs. Gabe Kaplan" and gaze in wonder at what made this show -- and the 1970s -- so bizarre.

Multicultural TV programming: There's something uniquely entertaining about watching the Korean quiz show "Golden Bell Challenge," the Armenian version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" or Bollywood music videos on "Namaste America" on the weekends. And if some shows don't have English subtitles, no problem: As with most TV, it's actually better to not understand what's being said anyway.

OVERRATED

The burger wars: No, we're not talking about fast food. These days, all local restaurants and gastropubs seem to be required to have a signature (read: upscale) burger. Though we love the creativity that comes out of the competition for an imaginary crown, it's time for chefs to focus on revitalizing a different American classic. Haute hot dogs, anyone?

Our attention span: Remember the Iranian election and the green armbands? The H1N1 virus (an estimated 1 million cases in the U.S. and counting)? Or the South Carolina governor and his "disappearance"? We're not sure whether to blame cable news, the Internet or our own information-overloaded focus, but this all-or-nothing coverage trend is troubling. Wait, what were we talking about again?

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