Watching NBC’s “Hairspray Live” on Wednesday night was like watching the Super Bowl — in both a good and bad way.
In the end, it was more on the good side in terms of the story and performances. But the bad network business surrounding the songs was almost too much to bear at times.
On the plus side, viewers got to see some of the finest talent in popular culture performing on one of the biggest and most eye-popping stages in American life. I am talking mainly about Jennifer Hudson and Kristin Chenoweth.
But on the minus side, the three hours of live TV was hopelessly over-produced and annoyingly cheapened by network attempts to generate false energy, such as the use...