DAVID BIANCULLI

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Five Years Later, TV Worth Watching – and Television – are Still Here
November 5, 2012  | By David Bianculli
 

Monday is the fifth anniversary of TV Worth Watching, which launched Nov. 5, 2007, the same day the TV writers went on strike. The strike didn’t last, but TVWW has…

The very idea of survival for five years, on the Internet, requires a fast volley of sincere thank-yous: to all the writers, editors and designers on our side of the website, and each and every one of you readers on your side. TV Worth Watching wouldn’t exist, much less continue, without the support of enough like-minded people who care about quality TV.

To say that we do this for you sounds disingenuous, but it’s not. Maybe, given the opportunity, we’d rather do it for the money — but right now, we’re doing this for you. Trust me.

And trust, really, is what I consider our website’s secret weapon. The voices and opinions we offer, from both columnists and readers, are more informed, thoughtful and discerning than much of what you’ll find out there on other pop-culture media sites. And just as the silences in symphonies help make a masterpiece, a lot of the beauty in TV Worth Watching lies in what we don’t present. No Jersey Shore. No Honey Boo Boo. Our masthead slogan may as well be: “No Kardashians.”

But let’s all celebrate, right now, the state of television five years after TV Worth Watching launched. We have Homeland and The Good Wife and Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead, none of which were around when television’s writers went on strike in November 2007. We have, in fact, more quality TV each week on Sunday nights alone than once was spread across an entire schedule.

And look at television on Tuesday, Nov. 6 — because you will, because it’s Election Day. Yes, the Internet, after 9 p.m. ET, can and will relay breaking results instantly. But the networks, broadcast and cable, remain the place to go, and each of us will go — or start — where we feel the most comfortable.

I have one friend, however, who’s planning to adjust his TV Election Night viewing decisions based on incoming results, searching for the highest level of on-air misery. Here’s his plan:

If President Barack Obama is doing well in a few key swing states, he plans to watch Fox News, to watch the anchors and pundits agonize the way they did after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie praised Obama after Hurricane Sandy.

Conversely, if Republican challenger Mitt Romney shows early signs of a victory, he plans to watch MSNBC, to see Chris Matthews and colleagues go apoplectic the way they did after the first presidential debate.

As TV viewing plans go, that may be a bit sadistic — but it’s not bad.

Personally, my advice is to hop all over the place, exposing yourself to as much coverage as possible. It’s the same way we here at TV Worth Watching approach the medium in general: The best way to get the most out of television is to keep searching, keep changing channels — and to keep watching.

Thanks for five years of support, and for accepting the same mission.

 
 

 
9 Comments
 
 
Phillip R. Crabb
Belated congrats Dave. Been here from the beginning and consider this to be the bastion of what TV used to be and what it should still be like.

Still looking forward to the rollout of the TV Worth Watching Network...!

..now lets just continue to hope the only showing of Rudolph and Charlie Brown is not the weekend after Thankgiving...

Phil
Franklin (Sussex County) NJ
Nov 9, 2012   |  Reply
 
 
 
Natasha
Congrats & thanks for all your wonderful coverage. Here's to many more years!
Nov 8, 2012   |  Reply
 
 
 
Erin
Congrats! TVWW is one of the first five websites I check everyday. I love when you point out something I should be watching but haven't remotely heard of previously (and, embarrassingly, it's usually something on PBS...most recently Call the Midwife and Big Sky, Big Money). Thanks!
Nov 6, 2012   |  Reply
 
 
 
Sally W.
Happy Anniversary!

Thank you for all of you and your work!

Tomorrow will be quite something for tv, even if it has been difficult to focus on the election in the NY/NJ area (Walking Dead and Fringe managed to get my attention, but they're both a different kind of distraction to say the least, as I've been lucky enough to not lose electricity or much else; keep thinking good thoughts for our neighbors and friends out there).

Keep up the good work to TVWW!
Nov 5, 2012   |  Reply
 
 
David Bianculli
I'm right with you, TV-wise -- and you know things are tough in the real world when the post-apocalyptic Fringe and Walking Dead are welcome distractions. Thanks for the support, and the nice words.
Nov 6, 2012
 
 
 
Angela
Happy Anniversary! I've enjoyed reading all your puns. Seriously, unless I'm unable to watch TV for some reason I don't miss a day here.

I tell people that I love TV, but that I only watch the hidden gems, the shows that you have to spend a lot of time digging for, unless you use TV Worth Watching to find them.
Thanks to all of you I enjoy the time I do have to watch TV.
Congratulations, and please, keep it up!

Nov 5, 2012   |  Reply
 
 
David Bianculli
Dear Angela -- what a wonderful posting (just like all the other ones you write to us)! Thanks not only for being here, and being such a loyal reader, but for contributing so often and so entertainingly with your own reactions. But puns? What puns? (Just kidding. I'm ashamed of myself, but I can't stop. Too much Bullwinkle as a child. And as an adult.)
Nov 6, 2012
 
 
 
Patrick
Congrats and thanks to all of you writing for TVWW. You have helped highlight many shows (and movies) I might not otherwise have found. From classics to institutions to sports and those shows taken off the air too soon, thanks for highlighting the interesting.
Nov 5, 2012   |  Reply
 
 
David Bianculli
Thanks, Patrick. We value your observations and contributions and reactions a lot, too. This webbyverse thing is a two-way street, and your feedback has been very helpful and welcome.
Nov 6, 2012
 
 
 
Rinnie
Congratulations. I read tvworthwatching almost every day and you've all helped inform many of my tv watching choices over the years, much to my delight.

Thank you!
Nov 5, 2012   |  Reply
 
 
David Bianculli
Dear Rinnie -- Thanks right back! Of all the things we try to do on the site, letting people know about good TV they might otherwise overlook is the real reason we're here. Glad it works for you!
Nov 6, 2012
 
 
 
Cathy
Congrats David and many more. You're a daily stop on my trip through the interwebs and tumblrverse. Keep up the great work.
Nov 5, 2012   |  Reply
 
 
David Bianculli
Thanks, Cathy! We're so glad you're here, and checking in a lot and adding to the site's overall worth. Especially since, personally, I'm less a tumblr than a mumblr.
Nov 6, 2012
 
 
 
Eileen
Happy Anniversary, David & all your fantastic contributors. I still consider this site a daily requirement for all thinking persons. Like fine wine, it's only improves with age.

I'm glad you mentioned the anniversary -- didn't actually forget but a little inconvenience called Sandy made time stand still here in lower Manhattan. I hope all the contributors & commenters out there are well.

Let's all keep our fellow man in our thoughts & prayers in the coming weeks. NY & NJ are decimated, so I consider my family blessed.
Nov 5, 2012   |  Reply
 
 
David Bianculli
Dear Eileen -- I wish the best for you in your post-Sandy recovery. Was in NY last Saturday, but stayed above 30th Street. I was lucky this time -- unusual, for me -- but I've been through enough hurricanes, as an ex-Florida boy, to know what you're going through. Hang tough. And thanks not only for the kind words about TVWW, but for your long, unwavering, and very noticeable support.
Nov 6, 2012


 
 
 
 
 
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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 under $20.

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

 

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