On Thursday, Sarah Palin's show Real American Stories debuted on Fox. Largely a
collection of inspirational stories following individuals throughout
America, the show certainly didn't spark any controversy. In fact, the
most common criticism appears to be that there simply wasn't much of a
point: Real American Stories, say critics, was just
some overscripted fluff. Then again, quite a few viewers loved it.
Here's the roundup (and New York Magazine's show highlights below):
- Show 'Canned,' Palin 'Scripted' The New York Times' Alessandra Stanley
suggests the show probably disappointed those who were looking for
Palin to show "her true spontaneous and unfettered self." Her verdict:
"The stories were inspirational. The show was not."
- Not Palin's Fault, but Production's argues New York Daily News' Richard Huff.
"The studio part of the show," he decides, "was okay." He suggests
having Palin "do the field interviews" as well so she's not as
"disconnected" from the rest of the show.
- Incoherent Optimism at Its Best The Washington Post's Hank Stuever
offers the most extensive analysis. Remarking, as many do, on the
"infotainment" feel of Real American Stories ("A commercial? News?"),
he nevertheless finds it "sort of interesting to watch [Palin] do
somethinn she's really good at: doling out warm fuzzies--emphasis on
fuzzy." His explanation (and critique) of the string of dog-saves-boy,
she is never more believable
than in the land of nebulous platitude, hosting a show made up of
curiously unrelated, seemingly freeze-dried profiles that all fit under
the giant label of "inspiring." ... So for an hour she glommed on to
some of her real Americans' realness and turned it all into something
that is pointless to argue: America is great. People can do whatever
they set their mind to because they are exceptional, because America is
exceptional. The search continues for a tune that Palin and Fox News
seem forever convinced goes under-sung.
- Uncontroversial, at Least, observes New York Magazine's Josh Duboff, recalling the LL Cool drama leading up to the show's debut. He also remarks on Palin's incessant patriotism.
- Hot Air Commenters' Mixed Reviews At the Hot Air open thread
on the subject, one self-described Palin supporter calls the show "60
miles wide and 3 inches deep," and "unpresidential and potentially
damaging to the campaign." The commenter continues to say the country
needs "serious and contemplative intellectuals to run and defeat the
Marxist nightmare," and this show didn't help. "What was she trying to
accomplish by doing this show?" the commenter wonders. Another
answers: "to associate her face/name with the virtues that America has
traditionally stood for. Struggle and sacrifice; adapt, improvise,
overcome ... Hopefully this will be a series that elevates the
individual over the collective." A third points out that "it's her
first show," and suggests critics "let the woman get her sea legs."
- Twitter Love On Twitter, the hashtag #RealAmericanStories is a torrent of rave reviews. One tweeter summarizes the show as "the kind of show you want to save & re-watch if become cynical of people or need a lift. A+" Others comment on the individual stories, one calling one of the kids "adorable." Here and there, a few add that the show is a "smart move."
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