Las Vegas Sun

December 19, 2014

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letter to the editor:

‘Max Headroom’ was brilliant satire

I was very entertained by Maureen Dowd’s Feb. 11 column, “Still mad as hell,” concerning Paddy Chayefsky and his masterwork, “Network.”

I was put in mind of another brilliant satire of not only network news but of television as a whole: “Max Headroom.”

For those who don’t know, Max Headroom was the computer-generated alter ego of investigative reporter Edison Carter of Network 23. Running from 1987 to 1988 and set “20 minutes into the future,” where it’s illegal to turn your TV sets off, it satirized television, society and politics to hilarious effect, much like “Network” did.

Unfortunately, it did it too well: It was so intellectually ahead of its time that not very many people got the joke, which hurt its popularity and, ironically, ratings (the show predicted instant and overnight ratings way back in 1987).

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