Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Television Without Pity - Tara Ariano and Sarah D. Bunting


Television Without Pity
752 Things We Love to Hate (and Hate to Love) About TV
Tara Ariano and Sarah D. Bunting
Quirk Books

Nonfiction/ Humor

Television Without Pity (www.televisionwithoutpity.com) may be the most entertaining website out there. If you like TV, if you hate TV, if you like to hate TV, it’s your kind of place. There are hilariously funny recaps of hundreds of shows and specials; and discussion forums for each. I admit, up front, that I’m a fan of the site and post fairly frequently, albeit under an assumed name to avoid prosecution. This site, and the wickedly funny recapper, Demian, kept me watching “Charmed” long past saturation point, just for the recaps. Demian, I don’t know how to thank you. No, scratch that. I don’t know why to thank you. (He’s not the only one, but we’re not here to discuss my addiction.) Each entry in the book reads like a tiny, little recap.

A few sample entries include:
- Crying Pam, about the lady from Trading Spaces who tried to tell Doug not to touch her fireplace

- Kutcher, Ashton, whose entry reads in its entirety: See: That 70s Show and “TV Producers, Unqualified Celebrities As”

- Melrose Place, that directs readers, at the end of the entry to: “Amanda Woodward;” Beverly Hills 90210; Cross, Marcia; Scenery, Chewers Of; Shue, Andrew; Spelling, Aaron; and Spin-Offs

- New York City, Clichéd/Inaccurate Portrayals Of, whose entry ends with, see also: Felicity; Friends; Law & Order Franchise; Real Estate, Vastness Of; Seinfeld; and Sex and the City.

This volume is arranged like an encyclopedia of all things TV. Actors, characters, shows, producers, commercials, catchphrases, they’re all here. Beginning with “Aames, Willie” and ending with “Zoboomafoo” (the who in the what now?) the authors managed to cover an amazing amount of material here. Which is only fair, since TV has provided the viewing public with a cornucopia of material on which to snark. And sometimes it was even intentional.
Rating: 9
November 2006
ISBN# 1-59474-117-4 (trade paperback)

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