WESTFIELD, NJ — It's barstool talk at its best: Who is the greatest of all time?
Scotch Plains-based TV critic Alan Sepinwall and his co-author, Matt Zoller Seitz, debated countless shows and came up with their picks for the 100 best. Everyone has their favorite: "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "I Love Lucy," "The Twilight Zone," "The Sopranos," "Star Trek" ... Somehow Sepinwall and Seitz were able to choose one.
Sepinwall will be at The Town Book Store downtown Saturday, Jan. 28, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. to sign their new book, "TV (The Book): Two Experts Pick the Greatest American Shows of All Time."
The authors have established the Pantheon of top TV shows using a complex, obsessively all-encompassing ranking system by which to order and stack them up against each other.
The programs were ranked based on:
- Story Telling, and
- Peak Value (How great was the show in its best season).
The book also features a mix of entries on critically acclaimed and commercially successful classics, such as "Seinfeld," "The Sopranos" and "The Simpsons" and illuminating essays on short-lived favorites, such as "Taxi," "Freaks and Geeks" and "My So-Called Life."
Sepinwall, who has been writing about TV for over 20 years, began as an online reviewer of "NYPD Blue." Then, for 14 years, was the TV critic for The Star-Ledger, then at HitFix.com and now as author of the popular blog What's Alan Watching? on Uproxx.com.
"I was working at Tony Soprano's 'hometown paper' during what TV's 'New Golden Age'," said Sepinwall, the former longtime TV critic for the The Star-Ledger. "Matt and I both wrote for the paper and wanted to work together again. We figured out what the rating criteria is and wrote the book over the space of two years."
Sepinwall's episode-by-episode approach to reviewing his favorite TV shows "changed the nature of television criticism," according to Slate, which called him "the acknowledged king of the form." He is the author of "The Revolution Was Televised," about the origins of the dramas that led to TV's current Golden Age.
If you are unable to attend the signing in town, you can call The Town Book Store at 908-233-3535 to reserve an autographed copy of "TV (The Book): Two Experts Pick the Greatest American Shows of All Time."