This fascinating book, Difficult Men ($20) gives us a revealing and riveting look at those shows that helped cable TV to emerge as one of the 21st century’s signature art forms. During the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, the TV landscape underwent a transformation that was totally unprecedented. While the major networks continued chasing the lowest common denominators a whole wave of new shows started to appear. They first arrived on such premium cable channels as HBO and the basic cable networks of AMC and FX and dramatically stretched the narrative inventiveness, artistic ambition and emotional resonance of television. These shows including The Shield, Deadwood, Mad Men and the sopranos didn’t make all their characters likeable and didn’t wrap everything up neatly before the credits rolled. Icons of our time, this is a brilliant book at the shows that have defined a generation
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