The new books shelf was a bit light-on this week, but an enquiry I took from a customer regarding popular television shows had me delving into an increasingly interesting part of the collection.
Of course the usual suspects are here (Star Trek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Avengers, etc.) but there are some lesser known shows as well such as The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. (which starred the truly cultish Bruce Campbell) and Ultraviolet. There are also shows whose popularity would seem to take them well beyond any kind of cult, such as Absolutely Fabulous, The Simpsons and Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Which is indeed one of the questions raised within these pages, can a cult show be a broadly popular one? Hmmmm…….
The publishing arm of the British Film Institute has produced some really interesting titles over the years. This series, devoted to classic television, continues that fine tradition and includes such interesting shows as Seven Up, League of Gentlemen, The Office , Prime Suspect and Kenneth Clark’s seminal documenatry series Civilisation; which, if you haven’t seen, is well worth catching up with on DVD here at the Library.
As the extensive bibliography at the end of this volume shows there is a wealth of information available on Australian television tucked away in journals and newspapers, but relatively few scholarly books available on the subject. This dictionary comes complete with a useful chronolgy charting some of the highs and lows of broadcast history in Australia, as well as almost 400 pages of fascinating information, beginning with an entry on Abigail (!!!) and ending with details on the work of television director Karl Zwicky. Now, let’s see what the authors have to say about The Magic Circle Club (a personal favourite from my younger days).
The politics of reality television : global perspectives edited by Marwan M. Kraidy and Katherine Sender
I have to confess to being pretty allergic to nearly all reality television programs, so any book that demonstrates the global nature of the beast can only prove depressing. Give me Get Smart any day!
Our own Will Alma showing how it should be done. Now that’s what I call television!