DAVID BIANCULLI

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FREAKS AND GEEKS: THE COMPLETE SERIES
January 28, 2016  | By David Bianculli
 

This is a TV comedy series about high school, putting it in the same continuum as The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Gidget, Square Pegs, My So-Called Life and The Wonder Years. It lasted only one season, but it’s a very important part of that continuum, and this Shout! Factory release more than does Freaks and Geeks justice. All 18 episodes of the series are collected here, unedited, including the groundbreaking episode in which Seth Rogen, as high-schooler Ken, copes with a surprising secret about his new girlfriend. This 1999-2000 series was created by Paul Feig, with Judd Apatow as one of its writer-producers, and the comedy lineage, especially to today’s Apatow movie hits, is strong. Cast members include Rogen, James Franco, Jason Segel and stars Linda Cardellini and John Francis Daley, who play brother and sister, navigating their way through high school. It’s an excellent series with a heart, and even more fun to watch to see Franco and company at such a young age. It’s due in March 2016 on Blu-ray, but for now, this is a great price for the DVD set.David Bianculli

 
 
 
 
 
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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 now available in paperback for under $15. 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. Interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer are high points... Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post

 

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