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

Saturday, December 2

none scheduled

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of November 27)

Friday, December 1

  • Henry Winkler (Barry/Arrested Development/Out of Practice/Monty/Happy Days) - Watch Henry on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Brie Larson (United States of Tara/Raising Dad) - Brie is a guest on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Eric Idle (Suddenly Susan/Nearly Departed) - Eric appears on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Maria Bamford (Lady Dynamite/Benched) - Maria is a guest on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Ms. Pat (The Ms. Pat Show) - Ms. Pat appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Angela Means (Cousin Skeeter) - Angela is a guest on repeats of Comics Unleashed with Byron Allen on CBS between 12:37-1:37am.
  • Kelsey Grammer (Frasier/Partners/Hank/Back to You/Cheers) - NBC's Today catches up with Kelsey in the 9am hour.
  • Brandy Norwood (Zoe Ever After/The Game/Moesha/Thea) - Brandy chats and performs on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Patrick Stewart (Blunt Talk) - Patrick sits down with to chat about his book Making It So on Live with Kelly and Mark, so check your listings.
  • Marcus Scribner (grown-ish/black-ish) - Marcus tells Sherri about his coming-of-age film, How I Learned to Fly, on Sherri, so check your local listings.
  • Chris Redd (Bust Down/Kenan/Disjointed) - Chris discusses his upcoming film Candy Cane Lane on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Tiffani Thiessen (Saved by the Bell/Alexa & Katie/Good Morning, Miami/Saved by the Bell: The College Years) - Tiffani discusses her latest cookbook, Here We Go Again: Recipes and Inspiration to Level Up Your Leftovers, and cooks on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (September-December)

Family Matters - The Complete Series Step by Step - The Complete Series ALF - The Complete Series (Deluxe Edition) Leave it to Beaver - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

09/05 - Young Sheldon - The Complete Sixth Season
09/12 - Abbott Elementary - The Complete Second Season
09/12 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-6 (Blu-ray) (DVD)
09/26 - Family Matters - The Complete Series
09/26 - Step by Step - The Complete Series
10/10 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season Thirteen / The Complete Season Fourteen
10/17 - ALF - The Complete Series (Deluxe Edition) (Shout! Factory Special Offers)
10/17 - Night Court (2023) - The Complete First Season
11/07 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-Sixth Season (Blu-ray) (DVD)
11/14 - Leave it to Beaver - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
12/05 - Father Knows Best - The Complete Series
12/05 - The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
12/12 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - The Complete Series
12/12 - Looney Tunes Collector's Choice - Volume 2 (Blu-ray)
12/12 - That Girl - The Complete Series
12/19 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Official Restored Complete Series

That Girl - The Complete Series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Official Restored Complete Series

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