By Brett Martin

ISBN-10: 1101617799

ISBN-13: 9781101617793

A riveting and revealing examine the exhibits that helped cable tv drama end up the signature artwork kind of the twenty-first century.

In the overdue Nineteen Nineties and early 2000s, the panorama of tv begun an extraordinary transformation. whereas the networks endured to chase the bottom universal denominator, a wave of recent exhibits, first on top class cable channels like HBO after which easy cable networks like FX and AMC, dramatically stretched television's narrative inventiveness, emotional resonance, and creative ambition. now not unavoidably interested by growing always-likable characters, plots that wrapped up well each episode, or topics that have been deemed secure and applicable, exhibits comparable to The cord, The Sopranos, Mad males, Deadwood, The protect, and extra tackled problems with lifestyles and dying, love and sexuality, dependancy, race, violence, and existential boredom. simply because the substantial Novel had within the Nineteen Sixties and the subversive motion pictures of recent Hollywood had in Nineteen Seventies, tv exhibits turned where to visit see tales of the triumph and betrayals of the yankee Dream before everything of the twenty-first century.

This revolution occurred by the hands of a brand new breed of auteur: the omnipotent writer-show runner. those have been males approximately as complex, idiosyncratic, and "difficult" because the conflicted protagonists that outlined the style. Given the opportunity to make paintings in a maligned medium, they fell upon the chance with unchecked ambition.

Combining deep reportage with cultural research and old context, Brett Martin recounts the increase and internal workings of a style that represents not just a brand new golden age for television but additionally a cultural watershed. tough males gains huge interviews with all of the significant gamers, together with David Chase (The Sopranos), David Simon and Ed Burns (The Wire), Matthew Weiner and Jon Hamm (Mad Men), David Milch (NYPD Blue, Deadwood), and Alan Ball (Six toes Under), as well as dozens of different writers, administrators, studio executives, actors, creation assistants, make-up artists, script supervisors, etc. Martin takes us behind the curtain of our favourite indicates, supplying never-before-heard tale after tale and revealing how cable television has distinctive itself dramatically from the networks, rising from the shadow of movie to turn into a very major and influential a part of our tradition.

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Additional resources for Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad

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In the Earl of Lemongrab fiasco, we see Locke’s theories distance themselves from Hobbes’s more clearly. Princess Bubblegum is not a Leviathan, determining the rules on a whim, only moderated by fear of the candy people rising up. Instead, she is a monarch ruling with the consent of the people in the form of a social contract; the agreement, and the laws that surround it mean that she must be of a certain age to rule. When the Earl of Lemongrab comes to take over, she bows to the laws of the land and lets him.

Marceline’s and Flame Princess’s rebellions against their parents are seen as justified because they serve a greater good: their “evil” parents must be stopped and any rebelling or power-grab that works against them is seen as a greater good. You Know You Want Those Bumps Lumpy Space Princess, being a hot mess, shows us a different side to this paradigm with unjustified rebellion. When she disobeys her parents and completely misinterprets their attempt to help her, she ends up homeless, even though the fight was about her living alone in the first place.

If two people want the same thing, they fight for it; the natural escalation is to war over the same things. The state of nature for Hobbes was a fearful war of all, against all. To sum up this state of nature: life sucks, and people are jerks. Like being stuck beside a baby on a ten-hour flight, this state is something that people would do almost anything to avoid. But this mess of anarchy is hard to break out of. It doesn’t just happen with a simple agreement. Hobbes pointed out that people are unlikely to hold to their agreement the moment that something more advantageous pops up.

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