Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From the Sopranos and the Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad

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9780143125693: Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From the Sopranos and the Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, a wave of TV shows, first on premium cable channels like HBO and then basic cable networks like FX and AMC, dramatically stretched television's inventiveness, emotional resonance and ambition. Shows such as The Wire, Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, Mad Men, Deadwood, The Shield tackled issues of life and death, love and sexuality, addiction, race, violence and existential boredom.

Television shows became the place to go to see stories of the triumph and betrayals of the American Dream at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

This revolution happened at the hands of a new breed of auteur: the all-powerful writer-show runner. These were men nearly as complicated, idiosyncratic, and "difficult" as the conflicted protagonists that defined the genre. Given the chance to make art in a maligned medium, they fell upon the opportunity with unchecked ambition.

Difficult Men features extensive interviews with all the major players, including David Chase and James Gandolfini (The Sopranos), David Simon, Dominic West and Ed Burns (The Wire), Vince Gilligan (Breaking Bad), Matthew Weiner and Jon Hamm (Mad Men), David Milch (NYPD Blue, Deadwood) and Alan Ball (Six Feet Under), in addition to dozens of other writers, directors, studio executives and actors. Martin takes us behind the scenes of our favourite shows, delivering never-before-heard story after story and revealing how TV has emerged from the shadow of film to become a truly significant and influential part of our culture.

Brett Martin is the author of The Supranos: The Book(2007). His work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Food and Wine and Vanity Fair. Difficult Men is an insightful history of popular US TV drama which traces the emergence of shows such as The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Mad Men and The Wire, and explores their engagement with important social issues around love, sexuality, race and violence.

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In the late 1990s and early 2000s, a wave of TV shows, first on premium cable channels like HBO and then basic cable networks like FX and AMC, dramatically stretched television's inventiveness, emotional resonance and ambition. Shows such as The Wire, The Sopranos, Mad Men, Deadwood, The Shield tackled issues of life and death, love and sexuality, addiction, race and violence.

This revolution happened at the hands of a new breed of auteur: the all-powerful writer-show runner. These were men nearly as complicated, idiosyncratic, and "difficult" as the conflicted protagonists that defined the genre. Given the chance to make art in a maligned medium, they fell upon the opportunity with unchecked ambition.

Difficult Men features extensive interviews with all the major players, including David Chase (The Sopranos), David Simon and Ed Burns (The Wire), Matthew Weiner and Jon Hamm (Mad Men), David Milch (NYPD Blue, Deadwood), and Alan Ball (Six Feet Under), in addition to dozens of other writers, directors, studio executives and actors. Martin takes us behind the scenes of our favourite shows, delivering never-before-heard story after story and revealing how TV has emerged from the shadow of film to become a truly significant and influential part of our culture.

Review:

... this high resolution snapshot of American television ... is convincing as a discussion of the relationship between the economics of television and its creativity ... It also shines a light on the obscurely collaborative processes by which episodes of dramas get beaten into shape in writers' rooms ... It's core, however, pulsates with some of the most entertaining profiles of writers since Dr Johnson's Lives of the Poets. ( The Times)

Brett Martin's insider understanding, built up by covering the industry for leading American magazines, makes his answers to these questions an entertaining read. You don't need to be a fan to enjoy his savvy insights into the key series; and his journalistic approach takes you up close to this parallel universe of show-runners, writers' rooms and beat-sheets, even into the Breaking Bad "room" for a day ... It is a complex story but Martin keeps it light and readable with a stream of nice nuggets. ( The Sunday Times)

Brett Martin's Difficult Men does for the outstanding American TV dramas of recent years what Peter Biskind's Easy Riders, Raging Bulls did for the great US movies of the 1970s: it's an entertaining and insightful history of how they came to be made. ( Guardian)

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Book Description Penguin Books. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 320 pages. Dimensions: 8.3in. x 5.4in. x 0.9in.A revealing look at the shows that helped TV emerge as the signature art form of the twenty-first century In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the landscape of television began an unprecedented transformation. While the networks continued to chase the lowest common denominator, a wave of new shows on cable channels dramatically stretched televisions narrative inventiveness, emotional resonance, and artistic ambition. Combining deep reportage with cultural analysis and historical context, Brett Martin recounts the rise and inner workings of a genre that represents not only a new golden age for TV, but also a cultural watershed. Difficult Men features extensive interviews with all the major players, including David Chase, David Simon, David Milch, and Alan Ball; in addition to other writers, executives, directors and actors. Martin delivers never-before-heard story after story, revealing how cable television became a truly significant and influential part of our culture. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780143125693

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