DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

KARLE DUNBAR

Social Media Manager

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

TOM BRINKMOELLER

GERALD JORDAN

MONIQUE NAZARETH

CANDACE KELLEY

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

DAVID SICILIA

NOEL HOLSTON

JONATHAN STORM

 
 
2016
May
31
 
 
Watching the new Roots, which would be one of the best TV things you could do this week, you’re reminded that in at least one important sense, it’s not about slavery at all. It’s about how individuals behave in a world where slavery happens to be an accepted institution...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2016
May
31
 
 
If you’ve taken anything from a dance class to a Zumba class, you know the difficulty you encountered in learning the choreography...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2016
May
31
 
 
SEASON PREMIERE: Howard Stern is out, and Simon Cowell is in, as the former American Idol super-judge joins returning America’s Got Talent judges Heidi Klum, Mel B and Howie Mandel for Season 11. If that makes the difference between whether you tune in or not, there you go. For me, when it comes to TV, America’s got other options.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2016
May
31
 
 
Part 2 of 4. The story of Kunta Kinte continues in this second two-hour installment of the new Roots remake, and tonight presents an entire storyline that was not dramatized in the original. This new version is quite good, and a fascinating exercise in comparison when measured against the 1977 ABC original. For reviews, hear my report for NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross on the Fresh Air website, and read our TVWW contributors’ reviews on Ed Bark’s Uncle Barky’s Bytes and
 
 
 
  
 
 
2016
May
31
 
 
This 1979 movie, about a quartet of teenage friends growing up in Indiana, is one of my favorite movies. It’s a quiet, beautifully realized character study about a high-school kid obsessed with competitive bicycling – yet it’s so, so much better, and more heartwarming, than that description sounds. Dennis Christopher, Daniel Stern star.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2016
May
31
 
 
SERIES PREMIERE: Could this be the attempt that finally revives the prime-time variety series? Only time and ratings will tell, but these Saturday Night Live alumni might be more likely than most to pull it off. The title stars are Maya Rudolph and Martin Short, the executive producer is Lorne Michaels, and Kenan Thompson is a regular supporting player. So the talent is here: What matters are the ideas, the variety, and the execution. But is it worth sampling? Absolutely.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2016
May
30
 
 
No scripted television drama -- before or since -- has hit home harder than the original Roots...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2016
May
30
 
 
Our attention to Memorial Day gets spottier as more of our wars fall into grey areas, and PBS reflects that unease with TED Talks: War & Peace...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2016
May
30
 
 
How many chances is the CW going to have to show this 2012 movie in prime time, and have a logical reason? James Cromwell and Jonathan Bennett star in this drama about a boy who comes upon his grandfather’s WWII footlocker, and asks him to explain its contents.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2016
May
30
 
 
TCM’s weekend of war-themed movies continues today, on Memorial Day, and prime time arrives with 1969’s star-packed action thriller, led by Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood.
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 

Good news, TVWW readers: David’s new book from Doubleday, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is available on Amazon for $20. (Paperback will be available September 5th, here.)

Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way."

"The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV. For instance, animation evolved from Rocky and His Friends to South Park; variety shows moved from The Ed Sullivan Show to Saturday Night Live; and family sitcoms grew from I Love Lucy to Modern Family. A high point is the author’s interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer and many others...Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post

 

Dispatches From TVWW