Heffernan's NYT Mag column is crackling this week. "Broadcast Spoofs" examines the Onion News Network, noting the distinctly midwestern flavor:
By contrast, fancy, coastal visual comedy -- 30 Rock, The Sarah Silverman Program, Curb Your Enthusiasm -- has a strongly aspirational element to it, with protagonists mired in what Joni Mitchell once called rich people's problems (real estate, restaurants, relationships). They comparison-shop values like consumerism and thinness, glamour and goodness, Obama and Clinton.
The Onion shrugs at these choices. Indifferent and impassive before overblown moral showdowns, The Onion offers only contempt, impotence and blank depression.
Ouch! It's a tepid rave, which is why it's pretty interesting.