The Platinum Age of Television

The Platinum Age of Television

From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific

Book - 2016
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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.
Publisher: New York :, Doubleday,, [2016]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780385540278
0385540272
Branch Call Number: 791.45 BIA 2016
Characteristics: xiv, 576 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm

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JLMason
Mar 23, 2017

This book is a labour of love by the author, a long time TV enthusiast, critic, columnist, and college instructor who grew up in the golden age of television and made his passion into a career. There is a lot of information packed in this book, but fortunately you don’t have to read it in order; it’s laid out by viewing category (e.g. Westerns or Family Sitcoms) and interviews with individuals associated with the genre (e.g. actors, screenwriters, producers) rather than chronologically. I had no problem skipping around the book to areas of interest and found this arrangement of information worked well. The author’s premise is that television has entered the “Platinum Age”. In each viewing category he highlights five groundbreaking shows that demonstrate an evolution in quality and sophistication over the decades. I think people who grew up watching US television starting in the sixties will really enjoy this engaging book; it was quite a memory trip.

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