Just a quick piece of news that I swear I will not be going on and on about over the next year or two: I am writing another book.
Specifically, I'm co-writing a book with Matt Zoller Seitz, my longtime partner in TV criticism at The Star-Ledger, and now the fine fine critic for New York Magazine and Vulture, as well as the man in charge of RogerEbert.com (where he wrote a bit about the book himself, and included our old Ledger column photo). Matt and I have been looking for an excuse to work together again pretty much from the minute he left the Ledger, and this is the one that finally made sense.
As we explained to Dave Itzkoff at The New York Times, the book (we are still figuring out a title), to be published by Grand Central Publishing, will be a series of essays on the best and most important American TV shows in the medium's history: “I Love Lucy” to “30 Rock,” or “Playhouse 90” to “Breaking Bad.” If you're a film buff, you can think of it as a TV take on “The New Biographical Dictionary of Film.” If you're a sports nerd, it's us doing the TV take on “The Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract” or Bill Simmons' “The Book of Basketball.”
It's going to be all-original writing (although, as with “The Revolution Was Televised,” some of the opinions expressed will be ones you've read from one or both of us in the past). Some essays will be long, some short (my goal is to find the TV criticism equivalent of James' explanation of Don Mattingly: “100 percent ballplayer, zero percent bullshit.”), some will be sweeping overviews of the series in question, while others will focus on one small aspect of them. (With “St. Elsewhere,” for instance, I might just write about the Tommy Westphall/snow globe ending and the persistent phenomenon of creatively adventurous series somehow infuriating their audiences by remaining adventurous to the very end.
I'm really looking forward to doing this, and to you guys eventually reading it.