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Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men
by Brett Martin

Narrator: Keith Szarabajka

Unabridged
Running Time (Hours): 10:18

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In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the landscape of television began an unprecedented transformation. While the networks continued to chase the lowest common denominator, a wave of new shows, first on premium-cable channels like HBO and then basic-cable networks like FX and AMC, dramatically stretched television’s narrative inventiveness, emotional resonance, and artistic ambition. No longer necessarily concerned with creating always-likable characters, plots that wrapped up neatly every episode, or subjects that were deemed safe and appropriate, shows such as The Wire, The Sopranos, Mad Men, Deadwood, The Shield, and more tackled issues of life and death, love and sexuality, addiction, race, violence, and existential boredom. Just as the big novel had in the 1960s and the subversive films of New Hollywood had in 1970s,television shows became the place to go to see stories of the triumph and betrayals of the American Dream at the beginning of the 21st century. This revolution happened at the hands of a new breed of auteur: the all-powerful writer-showrunner. These were men nearly as complicated, idiosyncratic, and “difficult” as the conflicted protagonists that defined the genre. Given the chance to make art in a maligned medium, they fell upon the opportunity with unchecked ambition. Combining deep reportage with cultural analysis and historical context, Brett Martin recounts the rise and inner workings of a genre that represents not only a new golden age for television but also a cultural watershed.

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Last updated: October 01, 2012
Home URL: http://www.mhl.org/
Full URL: http://www.mhl.org/catalog/collections/eaudio/det
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