Ted Milo, until recently the Charles Dickens of obit writers, is dislodged from his carefree new life by a bizarre collision of homicides and hemorrhoids in the fancy Los Angeles suburb of Friendly Lake. Actually…not so friendly, Ted and his wife, Liv, soon discover. Ted has ditched his long newspaper career to embrace the gaudy nouveau riche lifestyle he’d always ridiculed after inheriting a fortune from a distant relative. He is floating blissfully, contemplating the fruits of wealth, little on his fiftyish mind beyond bladder control, when a visit to a physician turns him into a sleuth with cold-blooded murders to solve. “You’re doing this why, because the Navy SEALS aren’t hiring?” chides Liv when learning she’s now married to Sam Spade. “And your dream of playing center field for the Dodgers–dashed?” Every gumshoe requires a “tomato,” though, and Liv is Ted’s when bodies hit the slab in this twisty mystery that explores the warty underside of outwardly tranquil suburbia.
No Time To Think focuses on the insidious and increasing portion of the news media that, due to the dangerously extreme speed at which it is produced, is only half thought out, half true, and lazily repeated from anonymous sources interested in selling opinion and wild speculation as news. These news item can easily gain exposure today, assuming a life of their own while making a mockery of journalism and creating casualties of cool deliberation and thoughtful discourse. Much of it is picked up gratuitously and given resonance online or through CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and other networks, which must, in this age of the 24-hour news cycle, “feed the beast.”
In this witty and candid perspective on American television, the Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Howard Rosenberg traces a disturbing pattern: TV’s relentless pursuit of the mundane in its seeming quest to dumb-down America. And, he writes, it may be succeeding. The longer mediocrity endures, Mr. Rosenberg advises, the greater the chance we will become permanently desensitized to it―and seduced by it―making third-rate the standard.