To tell a tale of social dislocation facilitated by mass media, Manual Cinema set its latest multimedia performance in the recent past.
The protagonist of “The End of TV” is isolated from real-life contact and mesmerized by technology, circa the early 1990s. It’s the lure of the television shopping network QVC that ensnares her. That obsession may almost seem quaint today, when most of us carry around a little computer that can function as an all-purpose tool of consumerism.
But the threat of loneliness — and the promise of connection — depicted in the show come in the context of the ever-relevant gap between the version of America that people see described on their screens by advertisers and politicians versus the one they actually live in.