Phair's Reviews > Watching TV: Six Decades of American Television

Watching TV by Harry Castleman
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's review
Oct 03, 09

bookshelves: non-fiction, pop-culture, hooray-for-hollywood
Read in October, 2009

Interesting but a bit overwhelming. Both too detailed and not detailed enough. The book looks at each individual year of TV schedules and describes the trends, financial,political & legal developments that impacted TV and programming. Too much emphasis for me on the news & political aspects. Many shows that I recall fondly were given only passing nods or left out completely. Definitely a more serious work than the authors' "Harry & Wally's Favorite TV Shows".

We tend to look back on TV's past as the golden age with all sorts of great shows but when you break it down year by year you see that most years were filled with pretty lousy TV. It's only when you compress time that the cream rises to the top of memory and it leaves that satisfying taste. If you ask me, TV today has a far greater proportion of excellent programming on at one time than most of the preceding 60 years. Which is why I find myself spending hours lately in front of the tube (TiVo) while my reading suffers.

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09/22/2009 page 200
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