Friday, November 24, 2006

Special Friday Review of The Great Book: Sitcoms of Norman Lear by Sean Campbell

Welcome to a special "Black Friday" edition of mini-reviews. Today on Black Friday, we will give you a bargain. A review of a great book that looks at the classic sitcoms of legendary producer Norman Lear. We have given you a few news items on the blog on this book before, so I'm sure some of you are familiar with it already. 17-year-old Sean Campbell has written a truly wonderful book and now skees53 has a review for us on The Sitcoms of Norman Lear:

The Sitcoms of Norman Lear by Sean Campbell

The Sitcoms of Norman Lear (McFarland, $35) is exactly what it sounds like--a book about the sitcoms of one Norman Lear, the man that changed television forever. Written by Sean Campbell, the book isn't just typical fluff; instead, it is a rather complete history of the successes (and sometimes even failures, believe it or not) of the television mogul and never casts any important details aside as being insignificant.
The book follows Lear's career from just before the days the hit sitcom All in the Family premiered on CBS, and covers all of his other major successes from the 1970s, including Sanford & Son, Maude, Good Times, The Jeffersons, and One Day at a Time. Not a detail is missing about these shows. In fact, there is a chapter for each one of these shows and includes all of the details of the shows (as well as a chapter dealing with the failures of Lear, even if it is hard to believe that a genius such as Lear could have any failures!), much like an E! True Hollywood Story, including the good things and the bad things that happened on the set. The book extensively covers the background of the show (such as what was going on in the world at the time of the show and how that may have influenced the show), the lives and attitudes of those involved with the show, the important episodes of the shows, and even how these sitcoms have changed the world (and television) into the 21st century. Whether it be Norman Lear writing an episode of All in the Family where Archie dies or CBS demanding that 26 lines be removed from the first episode of One Day at a Time, none of the important details are missing. Everything is well-researched too, with literally hundreds of citations from resources such as articles (from newspapers, magazines, and journals), statistics derived from opinion polls, books, interviews, and of course one of the best primary sources of all--the episodes of the sitcoms of Norman Lear!
The level of coverage varies for each show (All in the Family and Good Times seem to have the most extensive coverage, but that makes sense, because one All in the Family was the show that started it all and Good Times is a pop-culture legend in its own right), but regardless, each and every show seems to be covered rather thoroughly and this book is a must-own for anybody that appreciates the greatest sitcoms of all-time!
-- Reviewed by skees53
(5/5 stars)

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com

Related links:
Official Website of The Sitcoms of Norman Lear by Sean Campbell


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, February 22

Fresh Off the Boat - "Be a Man" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Jessica drives Principal Hunter crazy at Evan’s school when she declares that she’s “shadow principal” and follows him around for a day to learn about his job. When she finds out perfect son Evan has been caught acting out, she immediately blames Eddie’s bad influence, but there’s more to it than that. Louis, having watched one too many episodes of “The Sopranos” with Honey, is convinced that Marvin and Grandma are gossiping about him behind his back after Marvin offers to trap the rat that has invaded Grandma’s apartment.

Speechless - "G-A-- GAME N-I-- NIGHT" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Maya insists that it’s time to meet Izzy, a reluctant JJ arranges a game night for his family and new girlfriend. Ray tries to help on the big night, but his attention to detail puts a major crimp in JJ’s evening. Meanwhile, Dylan and Kenneth let their appetites get the better of them.

Last Man Standing - "Arrest Her Development" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Vanessa "helps" Mandy and Kyle look for an apartment; Mike is thrilled by Ryan's decisions.

The Cool Kids - "Sid's First Relationship" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
The gang comes together around Sid in order to help him overcome the commitment issues he struggles with his new beau, John; Margaret decides to become an airport volunteer in the hopes of conquering her strong fear of flying.

Andi Mack - "The Ex Factor" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Andi, Buffy and Cyrus worry about Jonah's unusual behavior; Miranda tries to cause problems for Bowie and Bex.

Sydney to the Max - "Adventures in Babe-Sitting" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Sydney and Olive struggle with their baby-sitting business when the child they are hired to watch happens to be the brother of one of the most popular kids in their class.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 18

Friday, February 22

  • Don Cheadle (Black Monday/House of Lies/The Golden Palace) - Watch Don on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth) - Will appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Thomas Lennon (The Odd Couple/Sean Saves the World) - Thomas is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Rita Moreno (One Day at a Time/Happily Divorced/9 to 5) - Rita stops by LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Wanda Sykes (The New Adventures of Old Christine/Wanda at Large) - Wanda visits The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Finesse Mitchell (A.N.T. Farm) - Finesse is a panelist on The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Lori Loughlin (Fuller House/Hudson Street/Full House) - Lori talks about When Calls the Heart on People Now at 12pm.
  • Jay Baruchel (Man Seeking Woman/Undeclared) - Jay is a guest on Couch Surfing at 8am.
  • Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Ken talks about You Complete Me, Ho on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Holly Robinson Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/For your Love) - Holly appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Autumn Reeser (Complete Savages) - Autumn drops by Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (January/February)

Fuller House - The Complete Third Season The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fourth Season The Game - The Complete Series Step by Step - The Complete Fourth Season What I Like About You - The Complete Fourth Season

01/08 - Family Guy - 20 Greatest Hits
01/22 - Fuller House - The Complete Third Season
01/22 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fourth Season (WBShop.com)
01/29 - Ballers - The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
01/29 - Crashing - The Complete Second Season
01/29 - The Game - The Complete Series
01/29 - Kidding - Season One
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 1 - Volumes 1-5
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 2 - Volumes 6-10
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 3 - Seasons 10-14
02/05 - First Lady of Television - Betty White Collection (40 rare and acclaimed episodes from her early days in television)
02/05 - Mama's Family - Seasons 1-6 - The Complete Series
02/12 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-3 (Blu-ray)
02/12 - Step by Step - The Complete Fourth Season
02/26 - What I Like About You - The Complete Fourth Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest