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The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops,…

The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers and Slayers Who… (edition 2012)

by Alan Sepinwall

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138586,938 (3.96)2
Title:The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers and Slayers Who Changed TV Drama Forever
Authors:Alan Sepinwall
Info:What's Alan Watching? (2012), Paperback, 306 pages
Collections:Your library, E-books
Tags:read, nonfiction, essays, pop culture, ebooks, 2013review

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



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An astonishingly great dissection of some of the best series American TV has broadcast since the late 1990s. You'd think that everything has been written about the new golden era of television, and then Alan Sepinwall comes along and published this insightful and knowledgeable tome, full of behind-the-scenes tales and quotes from the makers themselves.

The chapter on "Deadwood" alone is worth the price of the book, and made me love that HBO-series even more than I'd already did. ( )
  Bert.Cielen | Oct 16, 2013 |
For several years, Alan Sepinwall's blog, first at the New Jersey Star Ledger and then at Hitfix.com, 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 form: Oz, The Sopranos, The Wire, Deadwood, The Shield, Lost, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 24, Battlestar Galactica, Friday Night Lights, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad. He talks with the producers and writers of each show to get insights about the creative process that went into them and the particular challenges, both artistic and professional, that they solved (or didn't). If you were a fan of any of these shows, you'll enjoy revisiting them through this particular lens, and you'll want to start watching the ones you missed.

Sepinwall's writing here is smoother and even more enjoyable than the off-the-cuff (although still literate and engaging) work he does for the blog. I was pleased to learn that he's not only a great blogger, he's a good writer, period, and whenever his next book comes out, I'll read it—even if it's not about TV. ( )
1 vote john.cooper | Oct 1, 2013 |
This book wasn't as good as I thought it was going to be. I found the chapters on the shows that I had seen interesting and sometimes it gave me a new view on them but for the ones I hadn't seen I was somewhat lost during it. It was also hard to distinguish at times why something was revolutionary as opposed to just really good. It's an interesting read and I would recommend it to people who have seen and enjoyed the shows that he was talking about. He does give a lot of plot points away so do not read this book if you intend on watching any of the shows. ( )
  Tara714 | Jul 7, 2013 |
Thought-provoking, insightful commentary on movies has been around for decades, but there’s less history of it with television. However, both television drama and the internet have pushed boundaries during the last 15 years or so, and it seems fitting that thought-provoking, insightful commentary on thought-provoking, insightful television would spring up online. TV critic Alan Sepinwall has been a leading source of this commentary, at his popular blog, What’s Alan Watching?, and on his long-running podcast with fellow Hitfix.com writer Dan Fienberg. Drawing on years of background material as well as new interviews, Sepinwall discusses twelve of the most groundbreaking, influential television dramas of recent times in The Revolution Was Televised: The Crooks, Cops, Slingers and Slayers Who Changed TV Drama Forever.

The “crooks” and “cops” Sepinwall’s subtitle alludes to are from series like Oz, The Sopranos, The Wire, The Shield, and Breaking Bad; the “slingers” would be the foul-mouthed Wild West denizens of Deadwood; and, of course, the “slayer” is one Buffy Summers. The book’s thesis, supported by Sepinwall’s examples, reflects the influence and depth of genre conventions in storytelling--in addition to the shows referenced in the subtitle, we have 24, Battlestar Galactica, and Lost--and their expansion well beyond any limits of genre, illustrated via Friday Night Lights and Mad Men.

More: http://www.3rsblog.com/2013/01/book-talk-the-revolution-was-televised-by-alan-se... ( )
  Florinda | Jan 30, 2013 |
Only book that I know which covers the recent blossoming of serious, multi series US drama. Sepinwall is clearly passionate about his subject and provides interesting analysis and background to a range of modern classics such as The Wire, Sopranos, Mad Men and Breaking Bad. He has conducted interviews with the central figures from most of the shows under consideration.

Whilst enjoyable, the book seemed a little thin for me. He covers a great number of shows, 11 in total, with a chapter devoted to each. I personally would have been more interested in a more focused book that looked at less shows in more depth. This is probably largely because I have only seen 4 of the shows in question, as Sepinwall is an entertaining and insightful critic.

It should be noted that he generally provides a full synopsis of shows. This means that there are multiple spoilers within the book and so if you are intending to watch the show he is discussing it is probably best to skip over the chapters in question. ( )
  xander_paul | Jan 12, 2013 |
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Looks at how twelve innovative dramas--including "Lost," "Friday Night Lights," and "The Shield"--have transformed television over the past fifteen years, and reports on real-life characters and behind-the-scenes conflicts.

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