No, you're not imagining things...that's an actual seal giving the "thumbs up" in our new TV Worth Watching® Seal of Approval!! (Inside his very own TVWW lifesaver.) OK, so maybe we're walking on our hands here, but we have tons of recommendations of the best that TV has to offer. And after 35 years of separating the minnows from the big ones, that's an impressive kettle of fish...


2013
Jan
14
 
 
Six seasons, 30 DVDs, and one of the most formative TV series of modern times...In style and content, it seems to serve as the perfect bridge, or dividing line, between “old” and “new” television dramas, with the antihero coming to full flower in the persona of James Gandolfini’s Tony Soprano...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Jan
7
 
 
PBS and local member stations no longer provide enough regular time slots for the late Fred Rogers’ brilliantly sincere TV series, so parents have to pick up the slack for themselves...there are still some DVD stand-alone episodes worth collecting on DVD that are a great starting place for introducing a new generation of the soothing, inspirational shows of Fred Rogers...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Jan
1
 
 
HBO Video has replaced its lavish gift box with this slimmer set...but all five seasons are here, of a series that captivates, challenges and entertains from beginning to end – especially the end. What a series finale...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Dec
26
 
 
This ABC series lasted only one season in 1994-95, but what a season it was! Claire Danes portrayed 15-year-old Angela Chase, a teenager trying to cope, in a brilliant family drama that presented life from her point of view...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Nov
4
 
 
This Criterion Collection presents the best-possible restored versions of eight classic live televised dramas from TV’s Golden Age...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Oct
26
 
 
Ernie Kovacs, in the 1950s and until his untimely death in 1962, was a television triple threat: an unusually naturalistic and charming host, an outrageously goofy character comic, and a TV pioneer who pushed the medium in several directions at once...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Sep
10
 
 
Every once in a while, they still do make TV miniseries the way they used to, and here’s a grand recent example. Paul Giamatti  stars in the title role, and nails it, in this 2008 HBO adaptation of David McCullough’s very human, very enlightening history of our first presidential campaigns...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Sep
3
 
 
It's September, and time for football: college, pro and high school...Friday Night Lights was a TVWW favorite from its premiere. It's one of the best family dramas ever made...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Aug
27
 
 
Hal Holbrook, who is 87 years old as I write this and still performing (and endlessly rewriting) his one-man Mark Twain show on stage, now has to play “younger,” since the Twain of his stage show is 70 years old...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Aug
22
 
 
This particular DVD compilation has less than what you’d like, and more than what you need...but the two dazzling gems here, A Charlie Brown Christmas and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, are two of the best animated holiday TV specials ever made...
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 

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

TV WWorth Buying
 TOP TVWW SPECIAL DEAL$
Getting On: Season One

Adapted from the original UK black comedy, Getting On (2013-15) tells the story of Dr. Jenna James (Laurie Metcalf, Roseanne) a self-important doctor who gets exiled to an extended elderly care unit of her hospital after a career-turning public meltdown. Taking on the challenge of its setting and its occupants, Getting On nevertheless delivered laughter and inspiration from everyone’s perhaps least desired destination. On sale at Amazon for $15, Seasons 2 and 3 also available.  —Eric Gould