Chayefsky was apparently serious about much of this shrill, self-important 1976 satire about television, interlaced with bile about radicals and pushy career women, and so were some critics at the time.
The plot that Paddy Chayefsky has concocted to prove this point is so crazily preposterous that even in post-Watergate America -- where we know that bats can get loose in the corridors of power -- it is just impossible to accept.
There is plenty wrong with television, plenty to satirize. But Network prudently misses the point, dishing up an outrageous razzle-dazzle stew that will ruffle no network feathers and delight a popular audience.
A brilliantly played, stone-cold '70s classic, whose message -- the blur between entertainment and degradation -- has more than a tang of topicality in these days of reality TV-dominated scheduling.
the secret to the film's immense popularity, though, is this angry, sudden blast of "truth" -- without being specific -- as if it had never been spoken aloud before.
For some reason, Paddy Chayefsky's Oscar-winning satire was perceived as a drama when the movie came out in 1976. Much ahead of its time, the film was a cautionary tale of the news media as infotainment (emphasis on the secon part of the concept).