Dictionary of Teleliteracy: Television's 500 Biggest Hits, Misses, and Events

Dictionary of Teleliteracy: Television's 500 Biggest Hits, Misses, and Events

by David Bianculli
     
 
This Dictionary of Teleliteracy, which will do for television and popular culture what The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy did for 'high culture, ' explores 500 programs and televised events whose impact on American culture, Good or ill, will not likely be forgotten. These include all-time-favorite shows.

Overview

This Dictionary of Teleliteracy, which will do for television and popular culture what The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy did for 'high culture, ' explores 500 programs and televised events whose impact on American culture, Good or ill, will not likely be forgotten. These include all-time-favorite shows.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The idea of compiling the 500 biggest television shows is uniquebut is it necessary? Bianculli, a New York Daily News writer and NPR TV reviewer, aims to present the most meaningful and popular events and shows from television history, but he concedes that the selections are subjective and hardly exhaustive. They do cover a wide spectrum of television history, however, and highlights or unique plot twists are mentioned. The selections include news events (the O.J. Simpson low-speed chase), mini-series (Rich Man, Poor Man), classic TV shows (The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis), sitcoms (Newhart), dramas (The Waltons), game shows (Jeopardy!), and even foreign television shows (Absolutely Fabulous). Bianculli offers lengthy commentary on each show or event, but one looks in vain for a straightforward cast list at the end of each selection (though cast members are sometimes mentioned). If you need to add an up-to-date television history for browsing to your collection, consider this book, but if you are looking for a good TV reference, check out Alex MacNeil's Total Television: The Comprehensive Guide to Programming from 1948 to the Present (Penguin, 1995).Judy Hauser, Oakland Schls. Lib. Svces., Waterford, Mich.
Zom Zoms
The launch of Nickelodeon's new cable channel, TV-Land, makes this a very timely book. Many of its subjects can be seen on either TV-Land or Nick at Nite, which this work frequently mentions. This book's subtitle defines its subject quite well, and the author, a TV critic for the "New York Daily News", approaches his topic with passion, humor, and terrible puns Bianculli begins by noting that this is a companion volume to his 1992 book, "Teleliteracy: Taking Television Seriously" (Continuum). What is lacking in this new book, though, is a suitable definition of teleliteracy that would allow it to stand alone. The author uses the word a great deal, leaving the reader with the implication that the shows are those that have entered the American collective memory Arranged alphabetically, the subjects range from news (the coverage of the Kennedy assassination, the moon landing, the O.J. Simpson trial) to American television icons ("MASH", "Dallas", "The Honeymooners") and British imports ("Doctor Who", "Fawlty Towers", "Monty Python's Flying Circus"). The author has chosen what he feels are "the most memorable" programs of postwar American TV. "Most memorable," he notes, does not necessarily mean good For the most part, the annotations note what channel or network originally carried the show and the years in which it originally ran. For British imports, he notes when they first ran in America. His sometimes humorous annotations present information on the show, and also his own choices of the best and the worst of the episodes. There is no consistent use of plot synopses, but complementary publications, such as "The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows" (5th ed., Ballantine, 1992) or "Total Television" (3d ed., Penguin, 1991), have covered this. The author's opening remarks for his "Star Trek" entry ("Yeah, like America needs more words written about "Star Trek"" ) could be used for almost any entry Though it lacks a suitable method of cross-referencing, this book is wonderfully nostalgic reading. With its 1992 companion volume, it will provide any collection with an interesting examination of the cultural significance of TV in America.
Booknews
The television critic for the and National Public Radio's analyzes in half a page or so 500 programs and televised events that highly impacted American culture for good or ill. The programs include ER, Cheers, All in the Family, Sesame Street, and Zorro. The public events include the Watergate hearings, the Kennedy funeral, the moon landing, and the O. J. trial. First published by Continuum in 1996. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780826405777
Publisher:
Continuum International Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/01/1996
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
6.49(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.51(d)

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