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The Sitcoms of Norman Lear

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0786427635
ISBN-10: 0786427639
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A great book...thorough...a must-own." --Sitcomsonline

About the Author

Writer Sean Campbell lives in New Jersey.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 207 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers (October 27, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786427639
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786427635
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,957,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
In his first book, Sean Campbell provides us with an overview of the genius of Norman Lear, the TV producer who was responsible for such ground-breaking shows as _All in the Family_, _Good Times_ and _Maude_. Chapter by chapter, Campbell takes one of Lear's monumental shows and runs through its history from conception to cancellation to examine the political issues prevalent at the time (or political debates inspired by their address on Lear's shows), the show's behind-the-scenes conflicts, and even Lear's constant battle with network execs, who were put-off by a sound as everyday as that of a flushing toilet Campbell shows a genuine interest in these programs and the creative tussles that each show underwent, and he presents these to us in a tone as accessible and inviting as the Bunker living room.

The viewpoint that Campbell maintains throughout the book is to show us the mission of Norman Lear to regard television not as mindless, but as sensible--entertainment that informs and challenges our assumptions of people and the world while amusing us. If there is indeed a Golden Age of television, Campbell makes a great case for that age to be headlined by Normal Lear. Campbell shows us how Lear challenged the rigid confines of 'appropriateness' on national airwaves. These challenges weren't to just shock or dismay the people of America, as many have bastardized the idea of artistic challenge, but to present on television the world people lived in--how they talked and what issues they were discussing--not a fantasy world where housewives happily did their chores in pearls and father (who puffed on a pipe in the living room while perusing the evening edition) always did know best.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book absolutely blew me away. To think that the author was only in his teens when he did all the research and wrote this story is fascinating. Having watched all of these shows while growing up in the 70's, I never really understood the depth of the message of these shows until I read this book. I hope that this young author delves into other areas of writing as well. The book is extremely well-written and very interesting - highly recommended if you were a fan of Lear or of these groundbreaking shows.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brought back many memories of the sitcoms.
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