ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Dawson proves he's the scourge of CBS
Last Sunday night, if you weren’t watching The Simpsons
Halloween episode or the Green Bay Packers laying waste to the
Minnesota Vikings (yeah Pack! Booyah!), you might’ve happened
upon the CBS 75th anniversary special.
CBS holds a special place in my heart as my parents’ network
of choice, at least back in the day. I remember my dad sitting
on the couch on Sundays, watching the NFL and then 60 Minutes
and that damn stopwatch, as well as cooking up some popcorn every
Friday night to see what sleazy trick J.R. would pull on Dallas.
As for myself, however, I’ve never consistently watched
a CBS show except for Survivor. I guess I used to watch Murphy
Brown back in the day (I was an oddly mature 10-year-old), but
other than that, the Eye never held my attention. This special,
if nothing else, served as a reminder to me of how many classic
shows CBS produced, such as All in the Family, Mary Tyler Moore
and countless others.
• a montage of various famous actors (everyone from Taye Diggs
to Tom Selleck) who got their start on CBS soap operas. As the
different names came up, the audience politely applauded everyone,
except for the dead silence when Paul Walker and James Van Der
Beek were featured. Poor Dawson; maybe he can make a movie complaining
about this snub and then show it on his theatre screen-sized
• Bob Newhart cementing his place as the classic TV comedian
that is still funny. Most old-timers’ routines are a bit
stale by this point but Newhart still has his fastball. Well, maybe
not a fastball, given Newhart’s low-key style; maybe more
of changeup. Newhart is the Greg Maddux of TV comedy.
• the always fun game of “God, look how old that guy
looks!” The hands-down winner was former Dukes of Hazzard
co-star John Schneider, who now bears a striking resemblance
to Droopy Dawg. He looked even worse next to his fellow Duke
boy Tom Wopat, who has Botoxed his way to eternal youth.
Aside from these hilarious moments, the special was one of those
generic “Look we’re so great” specials networks
air from time to time. CBS, at least, can back it up with their
status as the No. 1 rated network. What was missing, however, was
a montage of some of CBS’ failures. Why not show some clips
from such long-forgotten crapfests like Ink or the Designing Women
spinoff? Lord knows nobody saw them the first time anyway. It’d
show that CBS has a nice sense of humour about itself.
So this flaw aside, the special was an acceptable way to pass the
time. It made me appreciate all the great CBS shows I miss to watch