The Platinum Age of Television

From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific
Narrated by: David Bianculli
Length: 23 hrs and 30 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (72 ratings)

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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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Exhaustive, Exhausting, Superbly Narrated

This title is not a story so that category rates very low. It is a reference book read by its author who by the way is a superb narrator and should read other titles for a living in my opinion. If I ever hear another reference to "Your Show of Shows" I am going to be sick, it came up too many times to count. The exhaustive and exhausting endless lists of actors and writers is over the top too much. Too little of inside stories that though they are there, stop far short of being satisfying. I guess it tries to do too much and 23 hours is ridiculous, but I made it through. So did this title make me want to watch something I may not have before? No. Nothing. Oh, and the stuff in the book about Bill Cosby, Louis C.K. and Kevin Spacey in the context of recent allegations and Cosby's conviction? The author handled Cosby's allegations pre-trial perfectly in my opinion and the book was released far in advance of the other two alleged incidents as it was not the purpose of a book like this to render moral opinion one way or the other.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 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.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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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 person found this helpful