• I applaud you for finishing it. I got too mad just from reading your review! :–)

    • Gin Jenny

      Well, it was the weekend. I had nothing better to do except clean house, and I really didn’t want to do that. :p

  • This sounds horrendous, I’m almost glad you had to read it just so I never make that mistake. Almost, as this doesn’t sound like it was a particular joy to have to go through.

    I’m so bored of the straight white male.

    • Gin Jenny

      Yeah, it wasn’t any fun. I was excited to read it — it’s the kind of history I really enjoy! But whatever. I’ll read Alan Sepinwall’s book instead, and I’m guessing that’ll be more of what I was looking for from this book.

  • Uuuuuuuuugh! Men are so great. Let’s talk about men more. *rolls eyes* I’m sure he could have written those passages in a less obnoxious way. Vestal virgins? barf.

    • Gin Jenny

      BARF is right. “Vestal virgins” is just the worst description I’ve ever read.

  • Well you are absolutely right to call him out on it. I checked the dates he was talking about, thinking that maybe he was recalling the 60s or something, but no, apparently the stories are set around 2000. So there really is no excuse. However, if he writes like this, the chance are that the culture around television is like this. And that’s surely got to come through into the programs that get made, yes? The only good think about this sort of book is that it provides watertight reasons why the culture of entertainment needs to change and fast.

    • Gin Jenny

      I mean, yeah, I think the culture around television is definitely like this. I’d gladly read a book that talks about that culture critically, but this one seemed to be heavily partaking of it. It made me really angry.

  • Seriously? SERIOUSLY! I want to punch this guy in the face…while he’s in his “awkward male pump pose.”

    • Gin Jenny

      Hahahaha. It’s just such a terrible description! Did nobody tell him to change that awful and sexist descriptive passage?

  • Sounds awful. No way I could have finished the whole book.

    • Gin Jenny

      Yep, the verdict seems to be that I should have put it down much sooner. Not sure why I didn’t do that — I guess I kept wanting to give the writer the benefit of the doubt? And hoping it would get better?

  • Vince Gilligan does seem like a sweetie. I loved him in interviews about Breaking Bad, especially when he openly expressed his dislike of Walter White. Plus, he wrote some of my favorite episodes of The X-Files. And he’s a Virginia guy. He may just have surpassed Joss Whedon as my favorite TV showrunner.

    I agree about that scene on The Wire. I’ll also confess to disliking McNulty from almost the beginning. I was glad when he went away for a while.

    • Gin Jenny

      Me too! Some people thought he was screwing with us by saying that Skyler was a perfectly reasonable character, but I think that was his genuine position. (It was mine, too! I don’t know why everyone hated her. She laundered money really helpfully.)

      Yep, I could do without McNulty on The Wire, if for no other reason than I found his accent distracting.

      • Katy

        I had to stop watching The Wire because I hated McNulty so much. I was rooting for Rawls to put McNulty on a boat and just leave him there forever. Have you seen Homicide, Life on the Street? It was the pre-Wire Baltimore cop drama, and it had, in addition to fantastic writing, a very diverse cast and a bisexual male lead.

  • Once a writer pens a sentence like, “A man could live on his leftovers,” I am pretty much done with him. I’ve hit my Reader Brick Wall. Not gonna read any more. You rant your head off,Jenny – your anger could not be better directed.

    • Gin Jenny

      Thank you for your support!

  • My daughter’s dream job is to write for television, and we think she’d be great at it. Right now, though, it doesn’t seem like an accessible dream.

    • Gin Jenny

      Yeah, it sounds really difficult. I wouldn’t know where to begin to break into that business.

  • Dang! I’m sad this book was so frustrating. I’m really interested in reading about the television landscape and even had this one on a list. It sounds like I should probably skip it.

  • aartichapati

    Oh-Em-Gee. I agree with all of the things you say above. My favorite genres are NONE OF THOSE that are listed above, which totally leave out anyone who is not an WASP male. Ugh. I am sick of the brooding white male who is oversexed and now wants to find real love and then finds it in the arms of a woman who knows all about his gross and sordid past, but also believes that she can change him for the better because all he needs is the love of a good woman. And I’m sick of every other woman being branded a slut. And I’m sick of no shows on TV giving women or non-whites even a role to play. Like that show Friends with Better Lives – how is it POSSIBLE in this day and age to be 30+ years old, live in (what I presume to be) a city and have ONLY WHITE FRIENDS that you hang out with all the time?! That is not realistic! WHY CAN’T TV BE REALISTIC?

    I think to cleanse yourself of this book, you should read Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? which is refreshingly funny and doesn’t even address the non-issue of women being funny and present in TV.

  • That last paragraph is PERFECT. I loathe it when people try and excuse their racism/sexism/homophobia/what have you by disguising it as something else. For instance, romance, young adult fiction, and fanfiction get slammed because they are mostly produced by ladies, but instead of coming out and saying “ew, ladies”, there’s also something else wrong with it that’s not actually a real thing. Vomit.


  • Ugh, those passages are just disgusting to read. I am already sick of the TV/movie industry’s portrayal of women as playthings or scheming things. I would imagine book writers have better sense. Nop, I guess.

  • I really really hope that the success of Orange is the New Black starts paving the way for more shows that show the interiority of female characters. It shouldn’t have to feel like a novelty.

  • EWWWWW. That first excerpt is my new replacement for ipecac syrup.

    I commend you for finishing the book and definitely endorse picking up Alan Sepinwall’s book instead. I haven’t wanted to review it because I skipped some chapters (didn’t want to be spoiled for Breaking Bad, which I haven’t finished yet) but it’s a much more thoughtful and less disgusting insider view.