A Fine Line

Whose Line Is It Anyway? turns cultural cliché into genuine comedy

Sketchy characters: Drew Carey (center) and improv friends
Sketchy characters: Drew Carey (center) and improv friends

It would be too much to interpret this program as some sort of resistance to the cultural dross surrounding us; if anything, the only depressing aspect of Whose Line is its revelation that what passes for "common culture" in America these days comprises little more than hit movies and advertising slogans. (This, along with Clive Anderson, is the other British edge: They occasionally went in for more highbrow games.) Best not to make too much of this, probably. Instead, appreciate the fundamental generosity Whose Line offers: How many TV shows aim for your funny bone without apologizing, pandering, or resorting to the tried and true? Even better, how often do they hit the target?

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