Host-reporter: Ron Reagan.
Host-reporter: Ron Reagan.In a surprisingly thoughtful presentation for a cable network preoccupied with pop culture frivolity and trivia, documentary addresses the social and economic impact of American entertainment on the world. Host Ron Reagan contends that our entertainment product does more to whittle down the trade deficit than any areas outside of high-tech weaponry and agriculture. First-rate sources, ranging from Barry Diller and Gale Anne Hurd to P.J. O’Rourke and Ted Turner, provide insightful and sometimes provocative reasons for the international appeal of American films and television. This documentary is probably a bit sophisticated for E! viewers more accustomed to self-absorbed performers who define even their most pedestrian work in cosmic terms. But it is straight-ahead what-where-and-why reporting, accessible to anyone who cares to consider the subject. The larger implications of our entertainment product–violence, sex, cultural identity, etc.–are not ignored. However, those involved here should ratchet up their intellectual curiosity and in a subsequent program probe that aspect of the story in greater detail.