Founder / Editor


Associate Editor


Assistant Editor











Visiting Terry Gross on ‘Fresh Air’ to Reflect on TV’s Year – And Mine
December 24, 2014  | By David Bianculli  | 12 comments

Today (Dec. 24) on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, I’ll be visiting with Terry to talk about the year in TV. That gets me in a reflective mood to think about my year, and to give thanks…

First off, there’s Fresh Air, capping off another year of my proudest professional association. Next year, it will be 40 years since I began working as Fresh Air TV critic, back when it was a local show in Philadelphia. (We went national in 1987.) Terry and the executive producer, Danny Miller, were working together long before that, and I feel very fortunate to be part of their team, and to benefit from their friendship.

Add to that my long-time TV reviews producer, Phyllis Myers, and the people who work with me so closely and patiently when I guest host – producers John Sheehan and John Myers, director Roberta Shorrock and engineer Audrey Bentham – and all the other people at Fresh Air, and there’s a lot for which to be grateful. (Including their bemused tolerance of my insistence upon rewriting any sentence ending in a preposition.)

So, thanks. Expect Terry and I to cover the best and worst of the year, the emergence of Amazon as another quality source for new TV shows, and, once again, the shifting landscape of late-night television. Listen today on the radio, or, after the fact, visit the Fresh Air website.

Another major thank you goes to the folks at apexart, the TriBeCa gallery that commissioned and hosted my Personal Theory of TV Evolution exhibit. Steven Rand, Julia Knight, Lorissa Rinehart and Ryan Soper all deserve my heartfelt thanks for encouraging, challenging, and putting up with me for the duration of the show, which ended up being a source of pride – a relative rarity for me.

And for the ridiculously generous people who loaned things as part of the exhibit, or who created specifically commissioned artwork, you made it a great exhibit, and a great year, for me. I’ve thanked you before here, and in the gallery brochure, but consider this one more blanket thanks. And anyone who took the effort, and/or the subway, down to Church Street to see the show, I really, really want to thank you, too. Hope you had fun.

I also owe an end-of-year thanks to James Ragan, Kim Akass and the people at Serial Eyes, for making it possible to teach TV in some fabulous international locales – respectively, in Prague, London and Berlin. Not bad, considering the other teaching I do is in Glassboro, NJ.

Other people belong on this list, including everyone working behind the scenes on this website, during a very difficult transitional year. But I’ll save my final thanks for anyone reading this – especially if you’ve read this far.

The loyal readers are the reason this website is still going, and why we hope that 2015, finally, will be the year for us to climb up from base camp to a higher Internet level. Thanks for sticking with us in the meantime. The intelligence of your comments, and their overall warmth, makes us all feel wonderful – especially whenever we peek at the vitriol infecting the posted comments on so many other media websites.

To paraphrase Tiny Tim – the one from A Christmas Carol, not Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In – “God bless you, every one.”

And that goes double for the atheists.

Leave a Comment: (No HTML, 1000 chars max)
 Name (required)
 Email (required) (will not be published)
Type in the verification word shown on the image.
 Page: 1 of 1  | Go to page: 
The apexart exhibit captured your originality, your eclectic funkiness. Congratulations! Here's to a great 2015!
Jan 23, 2015   |  Reply
tvworthwatching is my home page. I can't count how many times
I've caught a show that I wouldn't have known about without
the recommendation from here!
Jan 2, 2015   |  Reply
And bless you, David. What a joy to have a single, quality, thoughtful and entertaining resource for the medium we love so much. Congratulations to you, Eric and the rest of the TVWW team for another terrific year.
Dec 31, 2014   |  Reply
Sally W.
Thank you for all you've done! What a rich year in tv; I couldn't even keep up! Happy holidays and happy new year, everyone!
Dec 30, 2014   |  Reply
Siskel & Ebert relied on the thumbs up/down to alert viewers if the film was worth our time, not whether it was marginal or superior. I like what you do when you don't recommend a particular program but point us to a good performance by an actor. As to The Good Wife, Archie Punjabi's character performs unethical, criminal acts early in the series that rewarded her boss. It lost me at that moment. By the way, your atheist comment was unnecessary. We don't need your blessings.
Dec 29, 2014   |  Reply
Angela Siegfried
I still remember the very first time I heard David Bianculli with Terry Gross on the air some 8 years ago. I had just pulled into a parking lot to go shopping. I would have sat in my car for how ever long the show was on, and for the next 30 minutes I was glued to the radio. As others have mentioned it's a wonderful feeling when you find someone who has a similar passion. I was also so excited to learn about this new show title, Mad Men. I had been in the dark about it until then and I could hardly wait to see it on TV. David Bianculli's description of Mad Men did not disappoint, and from that first show I heard on air I became a huge fan of David, Terry and Mad Men. I'm really looking forward to another year. ps: If I had created that television exhibit I would be so proud of myself. Bravo!
Dec 28, 2014   |  Reply
Keep up the good work, David. I use your website and appreciate your guidance finding good things to watch. Our tastes don't match up perfectly, of course, but I would have missed some good stuff if not for your recommendations. I do have one thing that I must say bugs me, probably cuz I'm strange, but here goes: When I hear you on the radio, you do the "pause breathlessly at the end of a sentence, then quick gasp before continuing" thing. I end up paying more attention to that than your piece. Lots of actors do it, too, which I find distracting. Am I the only one who notices weird stuff like that? Anyway, that doesn't stop me from thoroughly enjoying your work. Happy New Year to you and yours, and thanks for the double blesses!
Dec 27, 2014   |  Reply
No, you are definitely not alone, Dave. I notice it too and am distracted by it. I would call an irritating affectation. Thanks for pointing it out so kindly.
Jan 7, 2015
Paul Schatz
Thanks for your wonderful work here and on the radio.
Dec 27, 2014   |  Reply
Margaret Wermer
As a person who loves and watches a lot of tv, I really appreciate your website, especially because almost all of my friends and family hardly watch any tv, and most haven't even owned a tv, and these are people in their 50's and 60's. So thank you for making me feel I'm not alone.
Dec 26, 2014   |  Reply
Loved listening to your Best of..interview with Terry today, especially when you wisely proclaimed The Good Wife the best show of its type on TV. One question: when you were mentioning the stereotypical characters on Utopia, you included " the military vegan" (you pronounced it vay-gan) and I have no idea what that is; did you mean a militant Vegan (pronounced vee-gan)? In other words, an aggressive, in-your-face person who tries to convert others to eating only vegan food?
Dec 24, 2014   |  Reply
I just finished listening to you on the radio and agree with everything that you said especially when talking about how difficult it is getting to watch everything on TV and off. I am hoping with the holidays and a slow in new episodes I will finally be able to catch up with my TV watching (like American Horror story and House of Cards) I don't like being so behind it is like running a race and seeing the finish line but being unable to reach it. Also I've watched on love TV my whole life and it's nice to know I'm not the only one.
Dec 24, 2014   |  Reply
love you and Terry...keep it up
Dec 24, 2014   |  Reply
 Page: 1 of 1  | Go to page: