Television has become as important as cinema. Long form storytelling is now a powerful way to tell sprawling narratives and recent times have seen a rise in high quality shows, many of which surpass the writing of what’s playing on the big screen. The time is now right for a book to look at this transformation, one which has been slowing taking place since the early 1990s. Taschen’s Favourite TV Shows – The Top Shows Of The Last 25 Years is that book.
Rich, textured, layered and compulsive reading – Taschen’s Favourite TV Shows – The Top Shows Of The Last 25 Years is a stunning tome. As the title would suggest, the book takes a look at the best television series over the last quarter of a century. Jurgen Muller Steffen Haubnert sets the tone with a thoughtful introduction which looks at how the seeds were sewn for this new golden age of television.
The usual suspects are present and correct, with critical favourites like Twin Peaks, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, Game of Thrones, House of Cards and True Detective rubbing shoulders with sit-coms like Friends, Two And A Half Men and How I Met Your Mother while popular detective hits like CSI franchise and The Closer also get a look-in. Meanwhile, quirky cult shows like Bored To Death, In Treatment and Oz are also are also covered. Overall, Taschen’s Favourite TV Shows casts an insightful eye over 68 shows over a multitude of genres from animation (The Simpsons) to science fiction (The X-Files, Firefly).
This hardcover Taschen book is as detailed as it is heavy, with a wonderful selection of still images highlighting each show. However, this isn’t a superficial countdown which relies on flashy packaging and minimal text. Each entry gets a detailed essay which looks at its position in popular culture, while also giving a critical examination of each show and its context in the television pantheon. These detailed analyses are expertly written and well-formed, giving strong insight into what makes them so memorable.There’s no snobbery at play here, every show is is given the same attention to detail and evaluated accordingly.
Taschen’s Favourite TV Shows – The Top Shows Of The Last 25 Years gives you everything that you would want in its 744 pages. This is the ideal book to keep on your coffee table so that you can dip into it every-time you binge watch your favourite boxset. Breathtaking.