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...


2012
Jun
5
 
 
This 1961-66 CBS sitcom was so far ahead of its time, it seems smartly sophisticated even today. Carl Reiner envisioned a dual-setting sitcom about his own life, with days as a writer on a comedy variety TV show and evenings and weekends as a loving family man in suburban New York. The network accepted the premise, but not until...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
May
27
 
 
TVWW's Ed Bark calls History Channel's first scripted miniseries, Hatfields & McCoys, the best made-for-TV western saga since 2006's Broken Trail. That's saying a lot...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
May
22
 
 
It's Memorial Day upcoming this weekend — the holiday enacted to honor American War veterans after The Civil War. So there really is no better time to revisit Ken Burn's The Civil War, the landmark 1990 documentary miniseries that put him and his company on the map (on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line...)
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
May
16
 
 
SEINFELD: THE COMPLETE SERIES – It may seem unnecessary, because Seinfeld remains such ripe, low-hanging fruit on syndicated TV, but there’s something glorious about having all this brilliance of this 1990-98 NBC series in one smartly packaged box set. All 180 episodes, 32 DVDs, extras, a coffee table book (remember that episode?)...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
May
7
 
 
Here’s a rarity: Nearly half of the music appreciation specials produced from 1958-72, with Leonard Bernstein conducting the New York Philharmonic and explaining classical music to a concert hall of crisply dressed kids and their parents, are preserved in this Kultur Video nine-disc DVD set,. Brilliant, inspirational, not at all condescending – and a show on the sonata form features a then-new composition by the Beatles. In 1964! – DB
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Apr
29
 
 
This 2007-09 ABC series, a light fable about love and death, lasted only two seasons, but creator Bryan Fuller and director Barry Sonnenfeld whipped up a treat as tasty and lovely as any dessert from the Pie Hole. One of the prettiest series ever made, even more stunning on Blu-Ray. -DB
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Dec
11
 
 
Yes, it's The Singing Detective, the 1986 Dennis Potter miniseries that, with its uniqueness, complexity and entertaining audacity, continues to amaze me 25 years after it was televised...
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 

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$
Ray Donovan: Season One

The Liev Schrieber series is now back on Showtime for its fifth season and one thing is certain – no matter how bad the jam is, Ray, a Hollywood fixer for stars and crooks alike, finds an inventive way out. Created by Southland writer Ann Biderman, Ray Donovan has the similar emotional stakes and gravitas of that series, all starting with the release from prison of Ray’s father Mickey, a Whitey Bulger doppelganer. Things come unglued from there and season one sets Ray’s house of cards in motion. On sale at Amazon for under $12. –Eric Gould