Television

'The drama of it: Television comedy's new aesthetic' by James McNamara

James McNamara
25 May 2018

Since I wrote about the golden age of television for ABR’s first film and television issue in 2015, the medium has evolved. Streaming has roared to prominence, with online servi More

James McNamara reviews 'Television: A Biography' by David Thomson

James McNamara
28 February 2017

Great books have been written on television. David Thomson’s Television: A biography is not among them. This surprises me, because Thomson is one of America’s most lauded film critics. To have his thoughts on television over the sweep of its history, viewed through his decades of experience, seemed a boon to me – a critic born in 1982. But Televis ... More

Michael Shmith reviews 'The Day the Music Died: A life lived behind the lens' by Tony Garnett

Michael Shmith
30 November 2016

Tony Garnett, one of the most respected figures in British television drama, is also one of its most reclusive. Most people these days have almost certainly never heard of him, or, if they have, probably think he is a distant relation of Alf Garnett, of Till Death Us Do Part fame.

Even though the cantankerous Alf was a fictional character (played by ... More

Peter Goldsworthy reviews 'Play All: A bingewatcher's notebook' by Clive James

Peter Goldsworthy
26 October 2016

‘You might ask how a man who spent his days with the major poems of Browning could wish to spend his evenings with the minor movies of Chow Yun-fat,’ Clive James asks ...

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#2: James McNamara reads 'The Golden Age of Television'

27 May 2016

In 2015 we published James McNamara's Ian Potter Foundation Fellowship essay 'The Golden Age of Television', that considers the ascendancy of television drama and its cultural significance More

John Henningham reviews 'That's The Way It Is' by Charles L. Ponce de Leon

John Henningham
29 October 2015

The notion of a golden age of television news followed by a relentless decline in standards and values is challenged by Charles L. Ponce de Leon, who argues that television news has always catered to public preferences. Ponce de Leon gives a solid overview and interpretation of the half century or so in which television news was the dominant information medium for A ... More

Critics and professionals nominate their favourite drama series

Ian Collie et al.
25 March 2015
To complement James McNamara’s article we invited a number of cultural commentators and film and television professionals to nominate their favourite television drama series. More

'The Golden Age of Television?' by James McNamara

James McNamara
24 March 2015

In 2013, US Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich asked Australians to stop pirating Game of Thrones. A single episode of HBO’s gritty fantasy drama had been illegally downloaded over four million times, equalling the legitimate viewership of the program. ‘As the Ambassador here in Australia,’ Mr Bleich wrote, ‘it was especially troubling to find out that Austral ... More

Dina Ross reviews 'Bert' by Graeme Blundell

Dina Ross
17 December 2014

In the world of Australian popular entertainment, few personalities are more prominent than Bert Newton. Since the 1950s he has been a presence on radio and television, as announcer, talk show host, compère, interviewer, and musical comedy star. Love him or loathe him, ‘Old Moonface’ has impressed as much for his ability to survive the ups and downs of showbiz ... More

James McNamara reviews 'The Sopranos' by Franco Ricci

James McNamara
17 December 2014

When we look back at the major cultural achievements of the early twenty-first century, The Sopranos (1999–2004) will surely prowl, thuggish, at the top of the list. Created by David Chase, the HBO drama tells the story of Tony Soprano, a New Jersey mob boss who tries to balance the violent demands of his professional life with a more quotidian existence as ... More