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Play All: A Bingewatcher's Notebook
(Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read)

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Published:
Yale University Press 2016
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description
"A loving and breezy set of essays" on today's most addictive TV shows from "an incisive and hilarious critic" (Slate).

Television is not what it once was. Award-winning author and critic Clive James spent decades covering the medium, and witnessed a radical change in content, format, and programming, and in the very manner in which TV is watched.

Here he examines this unique cultural revolution, providing a brilliant, eminently entertaining analysis of many of television's most notable twenty-first-century accomplishments and their not always subtle impact on modern society—including such acclaimed serial dramas as Breaking Bad, The West Wing, Mad Men, and The Sopranos and the comedy 30 Rock. With intelligence and wit, James explores a television landscape expanded by cable and broadband and profoundly altered by the advent of Netflix, Amazon, and other cord-cutting platforms that have helped to usher in a golden age of unabashed binge-watching.

"James loves television, he loves the winding stories it tells and that we share them together. Play All is a late love letter to the medium of our lives."—Sunday Times

"Large-brained and largehearted, and written with astonishing energy."—The New York Times Book Review

"Witty and insightful musing on popular and critically acclaimed series of the past two decades."—Publishers Weekly
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
08/30/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780300224573
ASIN:
B01J26RR4E
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Clive James. (2016). Play All: A Bingewatcher's Notebook. Yale University Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Clive James. 2016. Play All: A Bingewatcher's Notebook. Yale University Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Clive James, Play All: A Bingewatcher's Notebook. Yale University Press, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Clive James. Play All: A Bingewatcher's Notebook. Yale University Press, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 15:54:26
Date Updated:
Dec 06, 2020 02:41:52
Last Metadata Check:
Jul 03, 2022 07:06:56
Last Metadata Change:
Jun 26, 2022 07:19:59
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        Clive James is an Australian memoirist, poet, translator, critic, and broadcaster who has written more than thirty books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. He lives in Cambridge, UK.

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"A loving and breezy set of essays" on today's most addictive TV shows from "an incisive and hilarious critic" (Slate).

Television is not what it once was. Award-winning author and critic Clive James spent decades covering the medium, and witnessed a radical change in content, format, and programming, and in the very manner in which TV is watched.

Here he examines this unique cultural revolution, providing a brilliant, eminently entertaining analysis of many of television's most notable twenty-first-century accomplishments and their not always subtle impact on modern society—including such acclaimed serial dramas as Breaking Bad, The West Wing, Mad Men, and The Sopranos and the comedy 30 Rock. With intelligence and wit, James explores a television landscape expanded by cable and broadband and profoundly altered by the advent of Netflix, Amazon, and other cord-cutting platforms that have helped to usher in a golden...
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title
Play All
fullDescription
"A loving and breezy set of essays" on today's most addictive TV shows from "an incisive and hilarious critic" (Slate).

Television is not what it once was. Award-winning author and critic Clive James spent decades covering the medium, and witnessed a radical change in content, format, and programming, and in the very manner in which TV is watched.

Here he examines this unique cultural revolution, providing a brilliant, eminently entertaining analysis of many of television's most notable twenty-first-century accomplishments and their not always subtle impact on modern society—including such acclaimed serial dramas as Breaking Bad, The West Wing, Mad Men, and The Sopranos and the comedy 30 Rock. With intelligence and wit, James explores a television landscape expanded by cable and broadband and profoundly altered by the advent of Netflix, Amazon, and other cord-cutting platforms that have helped to usher in a golden age of unabashed binge-watching.

"James loves television, he loves the winding stories it tells and that we share them together. Play All is a late love letter to the medium of our lives."—Sunday Times

"Large-brained and largehearted, and written with astonishing energy."—The New York Times Book Review

"Witty and insightful musing on popular and critically acclaimed series of the past two decades."—Publishers Weekly
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      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        July 4, 2016
        Australian author James (Unreliable Memoirs) brings his sharp critical eye to TV’s current golden age, providing witty and insightful musing on popular and critically acclaimed series of the past two decades. He posits that good television is an art form and a mirror for reflecting modern cultural concerns. Contrasted with the “relentless catalogue of mechanized happenings” of blockbuster films, it provides “something to discuss.” Displaying a talent for apt description and pop culture recall, James declares Tony Soprano “a magnetic mountain” and Don Draper “Don Giovanni in a Brooks Brothers shirt.” He places Mad Men in its historical context and takes Aaron Sorkin to task for The Newsroom’s cardboard cutout characters. His commentary on the trope of the “irritating daughter” (and its subspecies, “the kidnapped irritating daughter”), in 24 is hilarious and spot-on. Some of his opinions are controversial—he dislikes Breaking Bad’s Walter White and calls his cohort Jesse Pinkman an “unbearable punk.” His description of Game of Thrones’ Daenerys Targaryen as “not especially stunning” will particularly irk some fans. As readers of James’ prior work will expect, this is a cerebral piece of work. “For the subtleties,” he writes, “we still need books.” Jokes about Marcel Proust’s mother aside, however, his book is far from inaccessible.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        June 15, 2016
        Eminent literary and cultural critic James (Latest Readings, 2015, etc.) comes back to an old beat: reviewing the offerings on the small screen.The TV critic for London's Observer from 1972 to 1982, the author briefly revisits some of the standards of the time, such as Hill Street Blues, while allowing that the landscape has much changed: time-shifting technology affords us the leisure of devouring a season or two of Game of Thrones or The West Wing at a sitting, binge-watching not what the networks necessarily want us to watch but what we wish to. Part of the critic's work is to tell us precisely what we should wish to watch, of course, and here James, though doffing high-toned intellectualism, settles for the more elevated fare, about which he writes with unfailing insight. What makes The Sopranos, a James favorite, tick? There is a grammar of genre, and Tony Soprano is not entirely free to operate outside of it, even as David Chase broke some of the old rules; just so, James writes, the captains of the Star Trek franchise are all generic representatives of the "principal elder" archetype, even the youthful James Kirk "back in the innocent days of William Shatner's first hairpiece." Ranging among box sets of Band of Brothers, Mad Men, The Tudors, and the like, James delivers sometimes-profound apercus ("the new mythology gets into everything, and the first thing it gets into is the old mythology") and humorous asides: David Tennant, the erstwhile Doctor Who, will probably not be pleased to be described, with respect to another series, as "the only weirdly half-bearded middle-ranking policeman in England," though Tea Leoni, of Madam Secretary, might appreciate James' remark that "she looks the part, her lithe grace rising in stature from not being chased by Jurassic raptors." A gentler companion to Harlan Ellison's The Glass Teat (1970), the only flaw of which is that it's too short, leaving readers wanting more.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        August 1, 2016

        According to a recent Deloitte "Digital Democracy Survey," binge-watching TV shows has become a favorite pastime of American consumers, with 53 percent of those surveyed binge-watching entire seasons of dramas via online streaming services or DVD boxed sets. Australian cultural and literary critic James (Latest Reading) posits that this phenomenon is not unique to Americans but to viewers of TV programs in general, including him and his family. He examines this trend in a series of insightful essays, written more in a personal blog-like style rather than as an academic critique or sociological treatise. In describing dramas such as The Sopranos or The West Wing, James conveys his opinions and reactions to the compelling characters and meticulously crafted storytelling as would a fan sharing his or her passionate commentary on social media. Yet, he does so through the lens of an experienced critic aware of the cultural significance of a show's themes or the technical merits of its production. Ultimately, though, these pieces reflect his and others' actual delight in "consuming" TV shows in large chunks of time, rather than exploring the "why" of this behavior in entertainment consumption. VERDICT For fans of pop culture and TV binge-watchers alike.--Donna Marie Smith, Palm Beach Cty. Lib. Syst., FL

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

subtitle
A Bingewatcher's Notebook
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publisher
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