Two oddball comedies are back on TV after a long hiatus. Do they still work? What has changed? Why do they work? And what’s with that guy in Cheers?
These were the questions on my mind on Friday as I sat down to watch the final two episodes of Fox & Friends’ two-part “Fox-in-Your-Valet-Box” experiment. I had never seen the first part — and that should tell you the kinds of questions I had about this experiment. It begins with a bit of “Fox-in-Your-Valet-Box”-inspired badinage between the hosts, about how Fox News is, quite literally, now in everyone’s car. Or in their Valet-Box. Or in their Happy-Valet-Box — no, their Happy-Valet-Valet-Box. (The Valet line here is probably more fitting than any of the other euphemisms, by the way.)
After this exchange, which is followed by a lengthy interview with a Fox News anchor who sounds every bit as flabbergasted as I am, it’s on to the final two episodes: the second one, “The Sudden Rise of Rachel Maddow,” about how she got a second shot at a top-rated show on cable news, and a series of skits satirizing CNN, MSNBC and the media in general (in part, but not entirely, because they seem to take as their motto, “the right thing is easy, so we’ll do the right thing for a laugh”).
The final episode, according to its title tag, “The Sudden Fall of Rachel Maddow,” also deals with the media, but for a different reason (the show concludes with “The Media Fall”). The Sudden Fall of Maddow focuses more on how her ratings (and those of CNN) have plummeted and the extent to which her popularity is due to the fact that the media have been pushing her leftward,