TV Nation, which first aired in the summer of 1994, in its own small way, made history. Michael Moore, director of the shambling working-class documentaries Roger & Me and The Big One, persuaded NBC (and later Fox) to give him a run of hour-long shows that would enlist the talents of pop-culture correspondents from Karen Duffy to Steven Wright in the name of confrontational TV. Opening with a jump-cutting montage of loaded images, to the alternating synthesized plucked strings and heavy-metal guitar of tomandandy, and punctuated by nonsensical polls conducted by Widgery & Associates, TV Nation took Moore and his colleagues up (inside skyscrapers), down (into bomb shelters), and around the globe--even to the Ukraine--to confront the exploiters, polluters, and hypocrites threatening Moore's peaceable and generally liberal-minded view of the world.
Now, thanks to the miracle of videotape, you can see what you missed or want to see again and again--and even a little bit more. Volume 2 comprises the first show of the Fox run and the "Love Night" episode, as well as a segment, too controversial to be aired, about the Phelps family (revisited during an episode of The Awful Truth), renowned for picketing the funerals of people who've died of AIDS. Follow Janeane Garofalo and friends as they attempt a landing on an exclusive public beach in Connecticut. Cheer Crackers the Corporate Crime-Fighting Chicken, who drives an RV from security guard to security guard, pursuing justice. And visit the Aryan World Congress (treated to a multicultural cheerleading squad) and the Michigan Militia (taken to an amusement park) and show them some love. TV Nation will keep you laughing at the same time you're spreading the fingers in front of your reddened face to witness the apocalypse through Moore's jaundiced eyes. --Robert Burns Neveldine
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