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Metcalf, Greg
The DVD novel : how the way we watch television changed the television we watch / Greg Metcalf
Santa Barbara, Calif. : Praeger, c2012
book jacket
Location Call Number Status
 4th Floor  PN1992.8.S4 M395 2012    AVAILABLE
Subject(s) Television series -- United States -- History and criticism
Television viewers -- United States -- Attitudes
DVD-Video discs -- Social aspects
Physical Description xv, 231 p. ; 25 cm
Note Includes bibliographical references (p. 221-222) and index
Contents Introduction: Because "excuses" sounds too defensive a way to start -- Television is an object and a narrative form -- The singing detective and British television -- Steven Bochco and too many stories, not enough time -- Stealing the soap and longform network television -- Premium blend genre and longform network television -- Men behaving badly on cable -- Comedy on television -- Longform comedy on television -- Graphic novels and DVD novels -- David Milch and television as literature -- David Simon and fictional non-fiction television -- Endings
Summary Is there anything worth watching on television anymore? The majority of programming would seem to be celebrity fan shows, biased news reporting, banal and predictable sitcoms, and reality television shows that celebrate the dysfunctional elements in our society. Actually, today's TV offers plenty of high-quality dramatic series and attitudinal comedy shows. Though some of the best programming fails to be a commercial success while being broadcast, these productions often sell well as DVD sets. In 1981, NBC's HIll Street Blues combined the cop show and the soap opera to get the model for primetime serial storytelling, which is evident in The Sopranos, The Wire, and Breaking Bad. In 1963, ABC's The Fugitive showed how an anthology series could tell a continuing tale, influencing The X-Files, House, and Fringe. In 1987, NBC's The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd changed the situation comedy into attitudinal comedy, leading to Weeds, Nurse Jackie, and Entourage. The DVD Novel: How the Way We Watch Television Changed the Television We Watch not only examines how American television shows changed, but also what television artists have been able to create. This book provides an alternate history of American television that compares it to British television, and explains the influence of Dennis Potter's The Singing Detective on the development of long-form television and the evolution of drama shows and sitcoms. The work considers a wide range of network and cable television shows, paying special attention to the work of Steven Bochco, David Milch, and David Simon, and spotlighting the influence of graphic novels and literary novels in changing television
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