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JERK: How I Wasted My Life Watching Television Paperback – September 24, 2014
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The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
Adam Buckman, author of "JERK: How I Wasted My Life Watching Television," is one of the nation’s premiere chroniclers of the TV business — a New York-based reporter, editor and columnist on the TV beat who has produced more than 7,000 bylined columns and stories about TV.
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He looks back over columns he wrote and the reactions they generated. He not only shares the feedback he received but he explains what it is like to watch TV hour after hour, day after day and week after week as a critic for the New York Post. He shares marvelous anecdotes about the people he met and the impact they made on him. He also does an excellent job of sharing the emotional side of life as a TV critic.
Later in the book, his observations about how television and society changed over time matched my own sense of that period.
Finally, since reading the book, I have gone back and checked out specific shows/episodes Adam mentioned, and it is very interesting to see them with the perspective Adam provides. Overall, a VERY entertaining, informative and engaging book.
He dedicates a lot of time to Howard Stern. As a fan in the 90s, I enjoyed the parts about Stern and his good early days before his radio show became unlistenable.
I agree with him on how great the Channel 9 show was and how horrible that New Year's Eve show was. By the time he was making that Saturday night show (with which he wanted to beat SNL), he was awful even on the radio. His originality was long gone by then.
Buckman used bad photos for celebs like Stern, Letterman, Leno to make his reviews sting even more. I loved reading that.
I liked the kind words about Mr Rogers; Joe Franklin sounds like a jerk.
He takes TV violence and the overuse of genitalia in sitcoms to task. He must be the only one. The use of those words as a replacement for a funny line or joke or situation is why I don't have cable and the rabbit ears don't get tuned very often.
I took the bait and googled jib squeak. I hate William Shatner as much as the next American, but the only reference to it is found on Buckman's own web site. I guess that phrase didn't take.
The many excerpts of his reviews reveals that he is not very funny, but very corny.
The strangest thing is he doesn't seem to know why he has been critical half the time. It is fine to be critical of a show and then enjoy it later, but it must be frustrating for anyone working on these shows to deal with reviews that have nothing to back them up.