The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers, and Slayers Who Changed TV Drama Forever

Last week I was reading the chapter about The Sopranos in which the author highly praises James Gandolfini s performance as Tony Galdolfini died the next day That s one of those odd coincidences

Last week I was reading the chapter about The Sopranos in which the author highly praises James Gandolfini’s performance as Tony. Galdolfini died the next day. That’s one of those odd coincidences that I could live without.TV critic Alan Sepinwall writes the popular HitFix blog What's Alan Watching? and here he takes a look at a dozen shows that revolutionized television since the late ‘90s. Oz, The Sopranos, The Wire, Deadwood, The Shield, Lost, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 24, Battlestar Galactica, Friday Night Lights, Mad Men and Breaking Bad were all groundbreaking in their own ways and proved that there were audiences for well-made shows that pushed boundaries and revolutionized the way TV got made and watched.Each show gets its own chapter in which Sepinwall gives the history of how the show came about, summarizes its storylines, relays behind-the-scenes anecdotes and then examines the elements that made the show special and how it pushed the medium forward. Interviews with creators, producers, writers and network executives provide background and thoughts from inside the industry as to how these shows changed the business.Many of the stories behind the creation of the shows would make for interesting books just by themselves. Lost came from one ABC executive who figured he was about to be fired and rushed the most expensive pilot in TV history into production, and Mad Men was the result of AMC’s desire to get some kind of critically acclaimed show that would generate buzz on the air because the network feared some cable providers were going to drop them. The universal theme for most of these shows is that creative people who had felt stifled by their experiences in Hollywood delivered when circumstances finally gave them an opportunity to do something different.Sepinwall keeps his critic’s hat on though and gives frank appraisals of mistakes like the Friday Night Lights train wreck of a second season or 24’s frequent lapses into stories involving amnesia, torture, and a cougar. He also details how fan dissatisfaction with some of the finales like Lost, Battlestar Galactica and The Sopranos can affect their feelings towards the series as a whole.Since he gives a story overview for each show, there are plenty of spoilers so if there’s a show you’ve been meaning to watch but haven’t gotten around to yet it’d be best to skip those sections. However, each chapter is pretty much self-contained when so it’d still be possible to read around that and not lose the overall theme of what Sepinwall is looking at here.This isn’t just some dry analysis either. Sepinwall has a good sense of humor and has been writing about TV long enough to come up with interesting ways to translate what we see on a screen into words. Here’s what he has to say about one show’s breakneck pacing:You didn’t so much watch The Shield as get beat up by it for an hour before it went off to grab a few beers and find a pimp to hassle.If you’ve read Sepinwall’s blog, a lot of these stories and themes will seem somewhat familiar because they’re points he’s touched on when he’s written about these shows before, but this was a chance for him to do an overview on an era of TV that came as many circumstances changed the old model of doing business and helped fuel a wave of creativity. Sepinwall’s enthusiasm for good TV is contagious and thanks to this book, I’m sure I’ll be cracking open some DVD sets and hitting HBO Go in the near future to revisit a lot of these myself.Also posted at Kemper's Book Blog.A viral The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers, and Slayers Who Changed TV Drama Forever Author Alan Sepinwall are Books ONE OF NEW YORK TIMES BOOK CRITIC MICHIKO KAKUTANI S 10 FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR ONE OF HOLLYWOOD REPORTER S 12 BEST HOLLYWOOD RELATED BOOKS OF THE YEARIn The Revolution Was Televised, celebrated TV critic Alan Sepinwall chronicles the remarkable transformation of the small screen over the past fifteen years Focusing on twelve innovative television dramas that changed tONE OF NEW YORK TIMES BOOK CRITIC MICHIKO KAKUTANI S 10 FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR ONE OF HOLLYWOOD REPORTER S 12 BEST HOLLYWOOD RELATED BOOKS OF THE YEARIn The Revolution Was Televised, celebrated TV critic Alan Sepinwall chronicles the remarkable transformation of the small screen over the past fifteen years Focusing on twelve innovative television dramas that changed the medium and the culture at large forever, including The Sopranos, Oz, The Wire, Deadwood, The Shield, Lost, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 24, Battlestar Galactica, Friday Night Lights, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad, Sepinwall weaves his trademark incisive criticism with highly entertaining reporting about the real life characters and conflicts behind the scenes.Drawing on interviews with writers David Chase, David Simon, David Milch, Joel Surnow and Howard Gordon, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, and Vince Gilligan, among others, along with the network executives responsible for green lighting these groundbreaking shows, The Revolution Was Televised is the story of a new golden age in TV, one that s as rich with drama and thrills as the very shows themselves.. Alan Sepinwall has been writing about television for close to 20 years, first as an online reviewer of NYPD Blue, then as a TV critic for The Star Ledger Tony Soprano s hometown paper , now as author of the popular blog What s Alan Watching on HitFix Sepinwall s episode by episode approach to reviewing his favorite TV shows changed the nature of television criticism, according to Slate, which called him the acknowledged king of the form.. The best Kindle The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers, and Slayers Who Changed TV Drama Forever Last week I was reading the chapter about The Sopranos in which the author highly praises James Gandolfini’s performance as Tony. Galdolfini died the next day. That’s one of those odd coincidences that I could live without.TV critic Alan Sepinwall writes the popular HitFix blog What's Alan Watching? and here he takes a look at a dozen shows that revolutionized television since the late ‘90s. Oz, The Sopranos, The Wire, Deadwood, The Shield, Lost, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 24, Battlestar Galactica, Friday Night Lights, Mad Men and Breaking Bad were all groundbreaking in their own ways and proved that there were audiences for well-made shows that pushed boundaries and revolutionized the way TV got made and watched.Each show gets its own chapter in which Sepinwall gives the history of how the show came about, summarizes its storylines, relays behind-the-scenes anecdotes and then examines the elements that made the show special and how it pushed the medium forward. Interviews with creators, producers, writers and network executives provide background and thoughts from inside the industry as to how these shows changed the business.Many of the stories behind the creation of the shows would make for interesting books just by themselves. Lost came from one ABC executive who figured he was about to be fired and rushed the most expensive pilot in TV history into production, and Mad Men was the result of AMC’s desire to get some kind of critically acclaimed show that would generate buzz on the air because the network feared some cable providers were going to drop them. The universal theme for most of these shows is that creative people who had felt stifled by their experiences in Hollywood delivered when circumstances finally gave them an opportunity to do something different.Sepinwall keeps his critic’s hat on though and gives frank appraisals of mistakes like the Friday Night Lights train wreck of a second season or 24’s frequent lapses into stories involving amnesia, torture, and a cougar. He also details how fan dissatisfaction with some of the finales like Lost, Battlestar Galactica and The Sopranos can affect their feelings towards the series as a whole.Since he gives a story overview for each show, there are plenty of spoilers so if there’s a show you’ve been meaning to watch but haven’t gotten around to yet it’d be best to skip those sections. However, each chapter is pretty much self-contained when so it’d still be possible to read around that and not lose the overall theme of what Sepinwall is looking at here.This isn’t just some dry analysis either. Sepinwall has a good sense of humor and has been writing about TV long enough to come up with interesting ways to translate what we see on a screen into words. Here’s what he has to say about one show’s breakneck pacing:You didn’t so much watch The Shield as get beat up by it for an hour before it went off to grab a few beers and find a pimp to hassle.If you’ve read Sepinwall’s blog, a lot of these stories and themes will seem somewhat familiar because they’re points he’s touched on when he’s written about these shows before, but this was a chance for him to do an overview on an era of TV that came as many circumstances changed the old model of doing business and helped fuel a wave of creativity. Sepinwall’s enthusiasm for good TV is contagious and thanks to this book, I’m sure I’ll be cracking open some DVD sets and hitting HBO Go in the near future to revisit a lot of these myself.Also posted at Kemper's Book Blog.
The Revolution Was Mises Institute Outside of the Communist Party and its aurora of radical intellectuals, few Americans seemed to know that revolution had become a department of knowledge, with a philosophy and a doctorate of its own, a language, a great body of experimental data, schools of method, textbooks, and manuals and this was revolution regarded not as an act of heroic redress in a particular situation, but revolution as a means Revolutionary War Timeline, Facts Battles HISTORY Sep , The Revolutionary War , also known as the American Revolution, arose from growing tensions between residents of Great Britain s The Revolution Was Televised How The Sopranos The Revolution Was Televised How The Sopranos, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Lost, and Other Groundbreaking Dramas Changed TV Forever Paperback May , Find all the books, read about the author, and . How Revolutionary Was the American Revolution American The American Revolution was rendered revolutionary in part by its proponents fierce desire to prove Locke right by demonstrating the human capacity for self government. The Revolution newspaper American Revolution Causes, Battles, Aftermath, Facts American Revolution, also called United States War of Independence or American Revolutionary War, , insurrection by which of Great Britain s North American colonies won political independence and went on to form the United States of America. Why was the American Revolution so revolutionary Dec , Historians have vigorously debated how the American Revolution gave rise to democracy Some see the revolution as a struggle for self government others see it as a class struggle that erupted in violence source McManus Whatever its origins and a number of competing and cooperative factors created it the American Revolution in fact did create a new, democratic nation. The Revolution band French Revolution History, Summary, Timeline, Causes Sep , The French Revolution was a period of major social upheaval that began in and ended in It sought to completely change the relationship between the rulers and those they governed and to redefine the nature of political power It proceeded in a back and forth process between revolutionary and reactionary forces. The Revolution Was The Revolution Was Garet Garrett The revolution is behind them It went by in the Night of Depression, singing songs to freedom There are those who have never ceased to say very earnestly, Something is going to happen to the American form of government if we don t watch out These were the innocent disarmers.

  1. Alan Sepinwall has been writing about television for close to 20 years, first as an online reviewer of NYPD Blue, then as a TV critic for The Star Ledger Tony Soprano s hometown paper , now as author of the popular blog What s Alan Watching on HitFix Sepinwall s episode by episode approach to reviewing his favorite TV shows changed the nature of television criticism, according to Slate, which called him the acknowledged king of the form.

606 Reply to “The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers, and Slayers Who Changed TV Drama Forever”

  1. Last week I was reading the chapter about The Sopranos in which the author highly praises James Gandolfini s performance as Tony Galdolfini died the next day That s one of those odd coincidences that I could live without critic Alan Sepinwall writes the popular HitFix blog What s Alan Watching and here he takes a look at a dozen shows that revolutionized television since the late 90s Oz, The Sopranos, The Wire, Deadwood, The Shield, Lost, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 24, Battlestar Galactica, Frida [...]


  2. in his prologue, Sepinwall discusses antecedents to the modern shows that have created the most recent Golden Age of Television the third or fourth such age, I think the author points out how the foundation for such things as the season long storyline, dark and ambiguous characterization, creative forms of storytelling, and narratives that exist to challenge rather than to provide comfort were present in such landmark shows as Hill Street Blues, St Elsewhere, and Twin Peaks view spoiler Twin Pe [...]


  3. This is an excellent analysis of twelve shows that ushered in the new golden age of television that we are currently enjoying I ve been reading Alan Sepinwall s columns for several years and was thrilled he d written a book about some of my favorite TV shows, including The Wire, The Sopranos, Deadwood, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Mad Men, Lost, Battlestar Galactica and Friday Night Lights Other shows discussed in the book are Oz, The Shield, 24 and Breaking Bad, in addition to a prologue that list [...]


  4. Two of my favorite online writers and podcasters are Linda Holmes and Bill Simmons, so when both endorsed Sepinwall s new book, I knew I needed to read it I ve watched exactly half of the 12 shows that he surveys in this excellent book, so it was an exercise in both reviewing familiar territory and exploring new lands that I had not yet ventured into.The book is excellent Sepinwall somehow provides or less then same information about each show concept, writing, pitching, casting, pilot, pick up [...]


  5. I love reading and writing about good television, and thoroughly enjoyed Alan Sepinwall s doing the same One of the best things I can say about these essays one for each show he focuses on is that I wanted pretty much all of them to be longer I learned a lot about how each show came to be on and off the air though of course there are conflicting accounts depending on who you ask in many cases It confirms the vague impression I ve had of current TV that the reason so many amazing shows got on the [...]


  6. For several years, Alan Sepinwall s blog, first at the New Jersey Star Ledger and then at Hitfix, has been the site I visit right after watching an intense episode of my favorite serial drama Sepinwall practically invented the practice of reviewing individual episodes of a TV series, an invaluable service in an era when television shows pack a level of depth and ambiguity that only movies used to have In this book, he visits a dozen series that expanded how television approaches the storytelling [...]


  7. The Revolution Was Televised is mostly useful as a collection of parsed interviews that the author conducted with the creators writers producers of the various shows lionized therein, including, but not limited to The Wire, Deadwood, Lost, Battlestar Galactica, Mad Men, and above all else in the author s mind, at least The Sopranos This book s failings are not just due to Sepinwall s home town cheerleading for The Sopranos a show with two pretty good seasons and four average to awful seasons at [...]


  8. A solid, largely interesting look at the context and impact of a handful of shows I respect The Wire, Deadwood, The Sopranos, Battlestar Galactica , a handful of shows I like well enough Friday Night Lights, Breaking Bad, 24 , a handful of shows that, for whatever reasons, rank somewhere on the scale of dislike to indifference Mad Men, Lost, Buffy , one show of which I had no prior knowledge Oz , and one show I love heart and soul The Shield.Not that it s 1 for 12 though Or 4 for 12, or 8 for 12 [...]


  9. Alan Sepinwall started out as a TV critic back in the mid 90s, when most people still couldn t conceive that there was anything on TV you could write enough about to earn the title critic Then came the new wave of US TV drama in the late 90s and throughout the 00s, with shows that tried to use the medium to tell stories that no other medium could complex, ambitious, character driven, taking months or even years to unfold and add to themsleves, tackling real life issues from the personal to the p [...]


  10. It s a remarkable coincidence that the theme of the television shows Alan Sepinwall chooses to write about for his book is right people, right place, right time Sepinwall himself, widely considered one of the best TV critics out there his reviews are a must read for me and I m not in the minority here , certainly lucked out to be at the right place writing for the NJ Star Ledger and internet boards just as the net was blowing up at the right time the golden age of television Thus, he is the perf [...]


  11. There is a scene in the show Portlandia when the main characters decide to kill some time before a dinner party by watching the pilot episode of Battlestar Galactica, one of the shows Alan Sepinwall covers in this book.Twenty four hours later, we find the characters still sitting on the couch, unshowered, having missed the dinner party, wondering to each other if they should move or just continue watching the show.As somebody who has never watched an episode of Battlestar Galactica, I wondered a [...]


  12. I gave this 4 stars because I ve been reading Sepinwall s insightful reviews for years and I m glad he decided to write a book I especially liked the chapter on Mad Men, although I didn t learn much new since I m such a big fan I haven t watched all the shows he writes about but I m thinking of getting Friday Night Lights on DVD now that I know about it I also really liked the chapter on The Sopranos one of my all time favorite shows and Sepinwall s analysis of the controversial ending The chap [...]


  13. 2016 holiday read A very good and interesting read on the shows that helped TV be what it is toady It was between this and Difficult Men, but I decided to go for this because I d seen of the shows covered in this book and it looks like Difficult Men mostly covers The Sopranos.I feel like I should point out though, the chapters on shows you haven t seen will potentially spoil the TV show for you if you plan on watching it eventually It s not done with malice and intention, but you can t really g [...]


  14. Alan Sepinwall is my favourite TV critic and his book about the 12 most influential drama series of the current era feels like it was written just for me I thought I knew most of these shows inside out already but Sepinwall s interviews with the creators on the development process was fascinating, teaching me things I don t think I would be able to find anywhere else If you are a fan of any of the shows discussed within, this is a must read.


  15. At the end of April, I took a joyous vacation to the Big Island of Hawaii with my family After 9 days of golf, snorkeling, Mai Tais and a dangerous lack of consonant variety, we were congratulating ourselves for going the whole trip without once turning on the TV We reveled in our collective sophistication and sense of adventureen I paused, and went back to reading my book about television.Alan Sepinwall is a TV critic whose articles I have read and enjoyed for years and The Revolution of Televi [...]


  16. This is a book that does exactly what it promises to do Sepinwall devotes a chapter apiece to some of the innovative dramas that changed the way that television engaged with the public in the new millenium Each chapter works as a standalone piece if you just want Sepinwall s take on Buffy or Breaking Bad, you don t have to read the rest of the book but certain themes do develop in the course of the book The Shield brought a complex antihero to cable networks, but only after HBO blazed a trail wi [...]


  17. Alan Sepinwall s thesis in The Revolution was Televised that a collection of tv shows in the past 15 years represent a sea change in the medium is hardly groundbreaking The excitement generated by many of the shows Sepinwall deals with has been widely lauded and of less everywhere you hear the TV commentariat proclaiming that TV is capable of displacing film and literature as the grown up, serious medium for the masses in fact it might have been interesting if Sepinwall had pursued this line sl [...]


  18. I purchased this e book from after hearing good comments about it on the NPR podcast facebook pchh fref ts and I am glad I did.This book covers the creation, development, and execution of several of the seminal television series of the last 8 years The stories are fascinating and they give the reader a better idea of how the television production business is so often based on luck.The book covers different network and cable shows from Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Lost and 24 to Breaking Bad and Mad [...]


  19. I didn t read all of this book, only the chapters covering the shows I had watched Overall, I found it quite enjoyable There are a lot of great stories and details about the creation evolution of these shows If you are a die hard fan of a particular show, there may not be a lot of new material here I found the Mad Men and Buffy chapters a trifle thin, but those seem to be the only chapters where the author was unable to obtain new interviews with the head creatives Damn you Weiner and Whedon , b [...]


  20. Warning If you don t want to be spoiled, don t read this book.Advice If you haven t watched the shows he writes about, you re missing out It s been years since I watched Oz, The Sopranos, Buffy, and Deadwood Reading the book made me want to watch them again, and this time, I ll have a better appreciation for what the creators were trying to do The book is full of insider information, not just about the shows but about how television gets made Highly recommended.


  21. A fun and sometimes surprising history of a certain kind of TV show If you re into any of the shows in the book, I highly recommend it The chapters can sometimes feel a bit too summary focused, but otherwise, a fun read I found the chapters on Friday Night Lights and The Wire both shows I loved very interesting, but I liked the chapter on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, which I never watched, equally fun.


  22. I have a lot to say about this book but I ll try to keep this as short and comprehensive as I can I should point out that I did skim or skip a few chapters either because I didn t want to read any spoilers and you should consider that if you want to read this book or because I didn t care about a particular show like Oz and Battlestar Gallactica But the majority of the book that I did read Wow I was nervous this might end up being half summarization and half pre production stories but it went be [...]



  23. Wow, everybody just loves this book I liked it too, mind, but the ideas behind it weren t terribly new to me I have been discussing the revolution phenomenon with other television fans for years, if not in so many words Sepinwall s greatest contribution to the debate were the interviews, as that was something only he himself could do, but that just made it a good book, not a four star good one Also, there were what I couldn t help but see as three major flaws.1 First, a mention somewhere, at lea [...]


  24. A really interesting read for any moderate to hardcore television fan, especially from the last couple of decades, this book does a concise but thorough job of outlining the history, inspiration, and production process of 12 of the most critically acclaimed shows of the newest golden age in television, including OzThe SopranosThe WireDeadwoodThe ShieldLostBuffy The Vampire Slayer24Battlestar GalacticaFriday Night LightsMad MenBreaking Bad.As a devoted fan of about half these, someone who s seen [...]


  25. I have never loved a book that I read so little of Let me explain This is a wonderful book that looks into the shift of television over the years and the shows that contributed to that The author starts the story basically with Oz, which I have not seen but fortunately have no desire to see because this is a deep dive into the shows and it s full of spoilers If you re not spoiler phobic, read all the chapters But for my part, I am allergic to spoilers, so I skipped the chapters on The Wire,24 an [...]


  26. Growing up I watched TV but I knew it was a waste of time 10 15 years ago TV became awesome and in many cases I felt a better use of time than watching movies or reading books Heresy, but something I believe will be widely accepted 50 years from now I have lots of opinions on what people will think in 50 years This book is essentially the history of how TV became awesome and if you re one of those people that others make fun of because you talk about The Wire, The Sopranos, Mad Men, FNL, etc as [...]


  27. Sepinwall proves that TV is not the vast wasteland that some elitist snob once called it actually, it never was , he also disproves someone who once sang 57 channels and nothing on His premise is that there is a new golden age of TV drama and he delves into the origins of 12 shows that date from 1997 Buffy to right now Mad Men, Breaking Bad He does a good job proving it Some of the shows he profiles are among my favorites The Wire, Buffy, Sopranos, Mad Men, Breaking Bad and he s got me intereste [...]


  28. An enjoyable read with lots of interesting tidbits which all readers of Alan s blog should enjoy Alan s access to the showrunners and executives behind all these great shows provides a lot of insight into the story behind the stories and how most of them almost didn t happen I appreciate that Alan kept his blog habit of using asterisks for asides, rather than footnotes, as I read this in an electronic format that is not very footnote friendly The chapters do have a tendency to ramble around Alan [...]


  29. A fun, quick read featuring some of my all time favorite shows and why they are part of the latest revolution in TV Note that I skipped the sections on Deadwood and The Shield, the only two series in here I haven t yet seen I want to and it s worth noting that each section is unashamed of featuring SPOILERS about the show in question If you are a fan of The Sopranos, Friday Night Lights, Lost, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Wire, Battlestar Galactica, Mad Men, Breaking Bad I mean, who isn t But i [...]


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