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Homens Dificeis (Em Portugues do Brasil) by…
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Homens Dificeis (Em Portugues do Brasil) (edition 2014)

by Brett Martin (Author)

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225695,470 (3.62)None
"In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the landscape of television began an unprecedented transformation. While the networks continued to chase the lowest common denominator, a wave of new shows, first on premium cable channels like HBO and then basic cable networks like FX and AMC, dramatically stretched television's narrative inventiveness, emotional resonance, and artistic ambition. No longer necessarily concerned with creating always-likable characters, plots that wrapped up neatly every episode, or subjects that were deemed safe and appropriate, shows such as The Wire, The Sopranos, Mad Men, Deadwood, The Shield, and more tackled issues of life and death, love and sexuality, addiction, race, violence, and existential boredom. This revolution happened at the hands of a new breed of auteur: the all-powerful writer-show runner. These were men nearly as complicated, idiosyncratic, and "difficult" as the conflicted protagonists that defined the genre."--… (more)
Member:rsuyama
Title:Homens Dificeis (Em Portugues do Brasil)
Authors:Brett Martin (Author)
Info:Aleph (2014)
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Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad by Brett Martin

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It's cool to see a narrative to all these hour-long, violent, addictive tv shows and to get some back story on them. The book seems to be written for film-makers though, makes a lot of obscure references, and the author seems to love himself a little much. ( )
  mitchtroutman | Jun 14, 2020 |
BREAKING BAD FANS: This 300 page book has like, only 10 pages devoted to Breaking Bad. I know! Dammit, it has Walter White on the cover, but really it is about The Sopranos.

SOPRANOS FANS: read this book! This book is for you!

The 10 pages on Vince Gillian and the Breaking Bad writing team were very good. I just wish there was more of it! Ah, my crushing disappointment. ( )
  Joanna.Oyzon | Apr 17, 2018 |
When I opened Difficult Men and found a gorgeous, graphic timeline of cable shows layered over one other and broken down by season, I gasped and nearly threw my other books across the room. Brett Martin had found his target audience. I don't watch a single show on network TV, nor do I watch comedies. Yes, I'm willing to admit that I'm a boring, typical product of my generation.

And my generation is one that grew up watching, what Martin calls, the Third Golden Age of television. Starting in the mid-1990's, with shows like Oz and The Sopranos, the TV drama began to shift in a radical way. Rather than the safe, self-contained storylines of network shows, cable writers began developing plots that spanned seasons and often left viewers with more questions than answers. Soon, those developing the shows came to be as complex and unpredictable as the characters they were creating.

Though I understand that the focus of Martin's book is, as the title states, the difficult men behind the television revolution, I think there was a bit of a missed opportunity to examine the role of female writers in Hollywood. While it could potentially fill a separate book on its own, I would have liked to see discussion of the low number of female showrunners as well as their comparatively harsh criticism from the media.

Still, Difficult Men is a fascinating peek into the evolution of television over the past 30 years, digging into backstories and histories of shows like The Wire, Six Feet Under and Breaking Bad, that will thrill even the casual fan.

Blog: www.rivercityreading.com ( )
  rivercityreading | Aug 10, 2015 |
Enjoyed it more than Alan Sepinwall's book. Both are good. This one has a more solid theme and argument. ( )
  lincolnpan | Dec 31, 2014 |
In the Third Golden Age of television (as Brett Martin calls it) things have changed drastically. With the rise of cable television, channels like HBO, Showtime and so on, are able to push the boundaries not afforded to network TV. Shows like The Sopranos, The Wire and Mad Men allowed the writers to offer something more complex or unpredictable. This saw the rise of the difficult men, characters like Tony Soprano (The Sopranos), Walter White (Breaking Bad) and Don Draper (Mad Men) offered a character study never seen before by viewers.

Brett Martin’s book Difficult Men looks at the stories behind some of the greatest shows of our time, mainly focusing on The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, The Wire and Mad Men. This is a deeper look into the evolution of modern story telling. The male protagonist within the Third Golden Age tends to be an enigma; complex, impulsive and so much more real. The type of characters that frustrates you with their mistakes but you can’t help but continuously watching.

The problem with this book is that it makes me want to watch all these shows. I have only gotten through half of The Sopranos and I haven’t found the time to try The Wire or Treme. All these shows look really great but finding time to binge watch them has become a real problem. I love reading about pop-culture and how it changes over the years and Difficult Men gave me everything I wanted. I enjoyed the insider information and the stories behind the stories. I can only hope that this evolution will start to extend toward better female leads. I would like to see the same treatment the Third Golden Age of television has give to men offered to woman as well.

What I enjoy about these types of shows is not that the men are difficult but the way they tackle real issues and treat the protagonist as a real and flawed human being. They can explore ideas of life and death, love and sexuality, addiction, race and violence and the protagonist often struggles or makes mistakes. They often evolve as characters but it doesn’t mean they grow, there are times when I think Don Draper (Mad Men) or Hank Moody (Californication) have finally grown as a person but there is often slip ups or a spanner thrown into the mix, this makes for compelling television but also feels more real.

A huge section of Difficult Men is devoted to The Sopranos and James Gandolfini which is worth checking out. Gandolfini, in his own right, wasn’t a stereotypical leading man and there was a big exploration into his mental state. Playing the role of Tony Soprano was a very taxing role and what made James Gandolfini great at the job is how he didn’t act the role, he became the character. This ended taking a huge toll on his psychological wellbeing and this raises some interesting thoughts about the effect a role has on the actor.

Fans of television, pop culture or these shows in general will enjoy this book but I think a look into the psychological effect on the people involved will make this something to sit up and take notice. Hollywood is a complex industry and the effects can be damaging; all you have to do is walk down Hollywood Boulevard to see how it effects people. I am a big fan of the ground breaking changes these shows made towards the television industry but I didn’t realise the side effects. Brett Martin did a good job going behind the scenes and getting the back story.

This review originally appeared on my blog: http://literary-exploration.com/2014/10/14/difficult-men-by-brett-martin/ ( )
  knowledge_lost | Dec 8, 2014 |
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"In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the landscape of television began an unprecedented transformation. While the networks continued to chase the lowest common denominator, a wave of new shows, first on premium cable channels like HBO and then basic cable networks like FX and AMC, dramatically stretched television's narrative inventiveness, emotional resonance, and artistic ambition. No longer necessarily concerned with creating always-likable characters, plots that wrapped up neatly every episode, or subjects that were deemed safe and appropriate, shows such as The Wire, The Sopranos, Mad Men, Deadwood, The Shield, and more tackled issues of life and death, love and sexuality, addiction, race, violence, and existential boredom. This revolution happened at the hands of a new breed of auteur: the all-powerful writer-show runner. These were men nearly as complicated, idiosyncratic, and "difficult" as the conflicted protagonists that defined the genre."--

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