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The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers, and Slayers Who Changed TV Drama Forever Paperback – May 21, 2013
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"So when I picked up Alan's terrific new self-published book, The Revolution Was Televised --by which I mean, when I downloaded it onto my phone and scrolled nonstop for two days--I knew it would be good. And it is: the book is a smart and substantive walk through the past fifteen years of television drama, making a lucid case for the auteurist mentality among modern showrunners." -The New Yorker
"Sepinwall is a sharp and prolific critic in his own right. In Revolution, though, he admirably often stands back and lets his subjects' words speak for themselves. But then he stitches the narrative together with insights that will make you see anew just how a Friday Night Lights or Buffy season truly worked, while tossing off the kind of dead-on descriptions that make his blog a blast to read." -Time --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
However, for those shows, Alan Sepinwall delves into the history of each series and the people involved in getting it off the ground, generally from origin to present. For The Wire, for example, he covers how David Simon's and Ed Burns' association, and how each of the series they'd worked on--notably The Corner and Homicide--helped build into being able to release the show in question. Using interviews and quotes with the people in question (or archival quotes when certain people, generally from showrunners who are still in the middle of production, are unavailable), Sepinwall's essays create a vivid history--undoubtedly mildly rose-colored but still authentic--of the production of each of the series, and he very clearly defines what he believes makes each of the series listed so important to how television is viewed now.
Each essay is self-contained, thankfully; while other shows are discussed in each chapter, it's typically used in a historical context (as a lot of the show creators involved worked with one another previously) one can avoid most spoilers for a series by not reading the chapter involved. This doesn't work for all of them; there was a mention of a character death in The Sopranos, but without context I can't figure out how important it is. (The book may take for granted that one knows about most of the plot points in The Sopranos.) Aside from that, however, the chapters I read were limited to coverage of the shows themselves.Read more ›
I did feel like it was let down a little by the fixed chronological nature of each chapter. Sometimes it felt like the main point of the chapter was reached halfway through, but then there were a few more pages tacked on because the whole show's chronology had to be covered. It could have been a stronger book if it had weaved together examples from various shows to make some bigger point other than "TV sure is great nowadays".
Note: I skipped the last two chapters since I haven't seen those shows yet.
The book is not stuffy or endlessly philosophical but an engaging and detailed synopsis of how each show came to be, what its creators intended for it, slip-ups along the way and their eventual ending.
You don't need to have watched every show that is discussed in this book. I, for example, didn't watch either The Sopranos or The Wire when they were on. I've seen the occasional episode but could never really get "into" either of those shows. That didn't stop me, however, from enjoying the chapters on those two shows. In fact, I've decided to rent episodes of The Wire and give that show another shot after reading that particular chapter. The author enjoyed some pretty enviable access to show creators and you find yourself wishing you could have been in on those interviews.
The only beef that I have with the book (and why I gave it four stars) is that the quantity of grammatical errors is pretty high in this book. I can expect one or two in a professionally published book, but even a self-published book needs to be proofread before being putting out there. There are at least three or four sentences in every chapter that make no sense. Of course, you can figure out what the author meant but when the grammatical errors are so numerous that a reader actively gets distracted by them, that's too many errors.
Sepinwall is my favorite TV critic and I had a great time reading this book: his analysis of the TV dramas that have changed the way the medium presents itself.
It must be said that each chapter on a different show discusses the show in detail, so spoilers abound. If you've seen all of these shows, or you just cherry pick which chapter you want to read, you'll be presented with a great overall breakdown of the mentality behind each show and what made each unique and special.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sepinwall is a great, and accessible, TV critic whose genuine joy in talking about TV is constantly apparent. Read morePublished 23 days ago by Amazon Customer
I've been reading Sepinwall (on a last-name basis) since his newspaper days. It helps to have seen all of the shows that get chapter-long dissertations. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Alison Law
Sepinwall is always a great read, been reading his blog for a long time, which really helped in watching the Wire. His book did not disappoint.Published 1 month ago by Mcam09
This book is both extremely informative AND entertaining. If you have enjoyed The Sopranos or Breaking Bad or Mad Men or The Wire (to name a few), you should check out this book:... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Michael Hatmaker
I got this book for a class I was taking and even though this topic has nothing to do with my major, I still enjoyed reading it.Published 5 months ago by Sarliel
brillent analyses of the shield mad men and the sopranos among many other ground breakeersPublished 6 months ago by Sean Patrick Innocent Dineen