Monday, November 30, 2020

Introducing My New Book: When Television Brought Us Together


For the past eight years this blog has been a celebration of the era of television that I deemed “Comfort TV.”


I started the blog as a place to write about the classic shows I grew up watching and still enjoy watching today. I know from your responses over the years that I’m not alone in preferring Joe Friday to Joe Exotic, and The Brady Bunch to The Bachelor.


Over time I began to think more about why people like us prefer shows that are 40 or 50 years old to all the new shows available. My new book attempts to answer that question, while also paying tribute to 50 classic series. 




The title is When Television Brought Us Together, and that’s exactly what it did in the Comfort TV era. This was a tine when there were just three networks – no cable, no streaming, no internet – so television was the most prominent source of information and entertainment in America’s households. And when the TV was on, as it usually was, we were all watching the same shows – I Love Lucy, Father Knows Best, Bewitched, The Brady Bunch, Happy Days, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Perry Mason, That Girl, Get Smart, Star Trek, The Mary Tyler Moore Show




These and many other classic series are profiled in the book, along with selections for their five best episodes.


First and foremost, this is a book for people who love these wonderful shows. Spending time with them has helped so many of us cope with the challenges of this past year. But the book is also for people who look at life in America as it was portrayed in these shows, and wonder why we can’t be more like that now. What have we lost since that time – and can we get it back?


Here’s a quote from the Introduction:


The shows from decades past remain a source of happy shared memories among tens of millions of people; they are a common thread weaved throughout our culture; they portrayed a time when people were more sincere and less sarcastic; more civil and less cynical; they come from an era when it felt like we were more one nation (yes, under God) then different warring tribes. They show us families and communities that support each other. They show us cities where schools and offices and synagogues are safe.


And when we watch them again, it brings back memories of the days before VCRs and DVRs. Back then we knew when we watched a popular prime time series like The Carol Burnett Show on Saturday night, we were sharing that experience with tens of millions of Americans doing the same thing at the same time. 




And here’s the part that will probably seem odd to those who grew up after this time had passed: It felt good. There was something reassuring about being part of something bigger, and feeling a tangible connection to people from one end of the country to another, even though you were doing something as inconsequential as watching a TV show.


Such connections, such common threads, are beneficial for a nation. Television was just one of many that have disappeared over the past two or three decades, with nothing substantial emerging to replace them. Perhaps that’s one reason why we’re in the state we’re in now. 


So if you’re a classic TV fan, or your have fans on your holiday shopping list, I hope you’ll check out When Television Brought Us Together. Hopefully it will help you get through these final (God willing) weeks of lockdowns and into a new year that will be better than this one.


Order When Television Brought Us Together


  1. Very impressive stuff! I had no idea you were such an accomplished author David, I saw your other books too on Amazon.

    1. Thank you. This is the first one in 10 years. May be the last too but you never know what the future holds.

  2. Great use of semicolons; great writing

  3. I am very interested in your book, however Amazon won't let me order it. It's telling me they can't ship to Ocean City New Jersey.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. The publisher checked it out with an Ocean City address and the order went through without a hitch. If you're still having an issue you can also order from Barnes & Noble's website.

  4. Thank you for checking. I simply changed my home shipping address to my fathers, and it went right through. I don't know what the issue was, but I will be getting your book in a few days. Again I appreciate you looking into it.