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Publisher's Summary

Television shows have now eclipsed films as the premier form of visual narrative art of our time. This new book by one of our finest critics explains - historically, in depth, and with interviews with the celebrated creators themselves - how the art of must-see/binge-watch television evolved.

Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way. In tracing the evolutionary history of our progress toward a Platinum Age of Television - our age, the era of The Sopranos and Breaking Bad and Mad Men and The Wire and Homeland and Girls - he focuses on the development of the classic TV genres, among them the sitcom, the crime show, the miniseries, the soap opera, the Western, the animated series, and the late-night talk show. In each genre he selects five key examples of the form, tracing its continuities and its dramatic departures and drawing on exclusive and in-depth interviews with many of the most famed auteurs in television history.

Television has triumphantly come of age artistically; David Bianculli's book is the first to date to examine, in depth and in detail, and with a keen critical and historical sense, how this inspiring development came about.

©2016 David Bianculli (P)2016 Random House Audio

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

I want to give it higher, except one thing

99% of this book is amazing. But there are two weird moments when Bill Cosby's "alleged non-consensual sexual something" gets brought up and is all but defended.

I think the book would have done better with something to the effect of "At the time of writing, Mr. Cosby is in a legal dispute. This has I impact on his role in the history of quality TV, so we will not be discussing it.in any way".

Just a suggestion.

Aside with from that, I truly LOVED this book.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Covers a lot of material

There are a lot of interesting parts. However, there is a lot of the same fanboying over The Sopranos and Breaking Bad as all the other books. We get it, they are good. But that doesn't mean everyone liked them.

The book is broken down into genre's- variety, medical shows, cop shows, legal dramas, dramas, sitcoms, etc. And there are lengthy bios of directors and actors.

Not a bad book, but if you are 40 or under, you probably won't be as interested.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful