As the old year breathed its last in the dark days around the December solstice, so also died The Soup which, if you count the decade or so of its previous incarnation as Talk Soup on the E! cable network, had for nearly a quarter of a century made fun of television talk shows and the sort of TV to which some wag had already attached the clearly ironic epithet “reality.” Ultimately, what killed The Soup was the same malaise that sooner or later infects nearly all pop-cultural attempts at satire in our times. It became indistinguishable from the things it was supposedly satirizing. By eschewing any moral perspective on the stupidity and the vulgarity of the popular media and treating it all as nothing but a good joke, The Soup had nowhere to go but to become stupid and vulgar itself in more or less equal measure.

I don’t know if you...


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