It’s Not TV: The Spectacular Rise, Revolution, and Future of HBO

Viking. Nov. 2022. 416p. ISBN 9780593296196. $28. TV
Seasoned mass communication observers and first-time authors Gillette (enterprise editor, Bloomberg News) and Koblin (the New York Times) add to the work of others analyzing Home Box Office, the premium, uncensored, and commercial-free cable channel. HBO changed the game of how stories could be told with such series as Sex in the City. This channel’s frank depiction of race, gender, and sexuality has arguably influenced broadcast television as well as encouraged streaming rivals such as Netflix. Although premium cable channels now depict previously underrepresented demographics, their price barriers might still result in underserving these groups. Librarians and researchers should compare with other recent examinations of HBO, among them: History by HBO (Rebecca Weeks, 2022); HBO’s Original Voices (Victoria McCollum and Giuliana Monteverde, 2018); The HBO Effect (Dean DeFino, 2014); and the identically titled It’s Not TV (ed. by Marc Leverette, et al., 2008.)
VERDICT Media-focused readers may enjoy the executives’, actors’, directors’, and producers’ personal accounts and the abbreviated storylines that review salient aspects of popular culture and iconic shows like The Sopranos, The Wire, Game of Thrones, Six Feet Under, The Larry Sanders Show, and Succession.
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