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)

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Amazon.com

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


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Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 23)

Friday, May 27

  • Josh Charles (Sports Night) - Watch Josh on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana) - Miley appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Jenna Fischer (The Office/Splitting Up Together) and Angela Kinsey (The Office/The Hotwives of Orlando) - Jenna and Angela talk about their new book, The Office BFFs: Tales of The Office from Two Best Friends Who Were There, on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • David Arquette (In Case of Emergency/Double Rush/Parenthood) - David appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Queen Latifah (Living Single) - Queen Latifah chats with the ladies of The View on a repeat on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Courteney Cox (Shining Vale/Cougar Town/Friends/Family Ties) - Courteney is a guest on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Sherri Shepherd (Mr. Iglesias/Trial & Error/Sherri/Less Than Perfect/Suddenly Susan) - Sherri guest hosts The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Mayim Bialik (Call Me Kat/The Big Bang Theory/Blossom/Molloy) - Mayim appears on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Cedric the Entertainer (The Neighborhood/The Last O.G./The Soul Man/The Steve Harvey Show) - Cedric is a guest on a repeat of The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jennifer Grey (Red Oaks/It's Like, You Know...) - Jennifer talks about her new memoir, Out of the Corner: A Memoir, on a repeat of Access Daily, so check your local listings.
  • Glen Powell (Scream Queens) - Glen talks about Top Gun: Maverick on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.


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

ALT= Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (2022 Release) Brooklyn Nine-Nine - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Head of the Class - The Complete Fourth Season Becker - The Complete Series (2022 Release)

02/08 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Ninth Season
02/22 - Everybody Hates Chris - The Complete Series (2022 Release)
02/22 - Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (2022 Release)
03/08 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Eight
03/08 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) (DVD)
03/15 - Head of the Class - The Complete Fourth Season
03/15 - The Proud Family - The Complete Original Series - Anniversary Collection
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03/29 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-5 (Blu-ray) (DVD)
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04/26 - Jackie Gleason TV Treasures - 70th Anniversary Collection (including Honeymooners Rarities)
05/03 - No Activity - Season Three
05/31 - Becker - The Complete Series (2022 Release)
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