Friday 28 October 2016

Media buffs will be turned on by this telly blockbuster

German publisher Tashen don't do little books. They produce heavyweight coffee table tomes that double as works of art.

Tashen's latest volume is a collection of the world's top TV series from the last 25 years.

Edited by Jurgen Muller, TV Shows will interest folk in adland and media, as well as diehard mini-series and sitcom fans.

Muller kicks off by explaining the opening sequence to Breaking Bad's second season, where neither people nor plot make any sense.


Viewers of Vince Gilligan's tale of a caring family man (Bryan Cranston as Walter White) who turns evil, only discover what the scene is all about in the last episode - a device that turns the entire season into a single flashback.

Intricate storylines that take audiences off on more tangents than Pythagoras could figure define the new "quality series" TV landscape.

While cinema conceded defeat to teens, today's TV excellence is about HBO, Showtime, Netflix and must-see series suc as The Sopranos (1999-2007), The Wire, Mad Men (2007-2015) and House of Cards.

Sitcoms jumped from the old-school nuclear family to a young circle of pals, as in Friends (1994-2004) and The Big Bang Theory (from 2007). All the top TV hits make the cut, including The Simpsons (from 1989), Game of Thrones, The West Wing, Orange is The New Black and True Detective.

The 745-page tome closes with a footnote saying Tashen has a zero carbon footprint. The publisher insists its yearly carbon emissions are offset with a reforestation programme in Brazil. With books this size, they'd be nuts to do otherwise.

Michael Cullen is editor of marketing.ie; cullen@marketing.ie

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