As anyone who's ever followed this blog or spoken directly to me for more than a few minutes knows, I'm a huge fan of the AV Club, the pop-culture obsessed review site that's a sister publication of my beloved The Onion.
One really fun running article series they have going on right now is a feature wherein their television critics watch and review shows that normally don't fall under the rubric of critically-reviewed shows. For instance, a couple weeks ago they looked at the Super Bowl as a television show, with little concern about the game itself.
But this week's article is a real winner. Staff writer Todd VanDerWerff watched an entire week of Glenn Beck to understand what makes him such a popular commentator, which I think entitles you to some sort of award, or at least free mental health counseling.
While his conclusions are not really anything I haven't heard before (Beck is a mix of shrewd entertainer and completely batshit insane), it's really interesting to hear him discussed not from a political point of view, but from an artistic point of view.
I don't want to do a disservice to VanDerWerff's argument and simplify it too much (seriously, go read it, it's only 3,000 words), but essentially, what he finds is that Beck is less political talk show than a combination of mystery serial and soap opera, giving him huge credit for building a Lost-like mythology that would take a viewer years to fully grasp.
I can't say that I'll be tuning into Beck's show any time soon now, but this is easily the best description of just what exactly he's up to that I've ever stumbled across...