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Primal Screen

'Catfish' hooks online lovers for reality checks

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

'Catfish: The TV Show'


Catfish makes you feel sympathy for both the liars and the lied-to, and that’s an achievement. Steel yourself for an emotional hour of TV.

American Masters (8pm Tue, PBS)
“Inventing David Geffen” tells the remarkable story of a Brooklyn nobody who worked his way up from the mailroom to become one of the most important media moguls of our age. Through sheer force of will, Geffen turned himself into a successful agent for key 1960s and ’70s rock stars. He founded Asylum Records with the idea of nurturing creative talent in a way that had never been done before. After that, he moved on to even bigger success in the music and movie business, confounding the skeptics at every turn. In fact, to Geffen, confounding skeptics was almost as much fun as making billions of dollars.

Almost.

As you can imagine, a guy this ambitious has a dark side. “Don’t get into a fight with David,” says David Crosby. “He never forgets, he doesn’t give up, and he always wins.” While interviewees attest that Geffen will move heaven and earth to help a friend, they also acknowledge that he will work just as hard to punish an enemy. And occasionally, those enemies are former friends. The most depressing incident recounted here is the time Geffen sued his buddy and label star Neil Young for turning in albums that didn’t sound the way he thought Neil Young albums should.

Well, you take the good with the bad. “Inventing David Geffen” emphasizes the good, including Geffen’s charitable work and his genius for bringing significant artworks into being. One comes away from the program respecting the man as well as fearing him. I just hope nothing I’ve said in this review puts me on his bad side.

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