"A vastly entertaining and insightful look at the creators of some of the most highly esteemed recent television series... Martin's stated goal is to recount the culmination of what he calls the 'Third Golden Age of Television.' And he does so with his own sophisticated synthesis or reporting, on-set observations, and critical thinking, proving himself as capable of passing judgment, of parsing strengths and weaknesses of any given TV show, as any reviewer who covers the beat... in short, the sort of criticism that must now extend to television as much as it does to any other first-rate art."
"[Showrunners are] as complex and fascinating in Martin's account as their anti-hero protagonists are on the screen.... "Breaking Bad, The Shield, " and "Six Feet Under" have dominated the recent cultural conversation in the way that movies did in the 1970s.... Martin thrillingly explains how and why that conversation migrated to the erstwhile 'idiot box.' A lucid and entertaining analysis of contemporary quality TV, highly recommended to anyone who turns on the box to be challenged and engaged."
"Martin deftly traces TV's evolution from an elitist technology in a handful of homes, to an entertainment wasteland reflecting viewers' anomie, to 'the signature American art form of the first decade of the twenty-first century."
"The new golden age of television drama--addictive, dark, suspenseful, complex, morally murky--finally gets the insanely readable chronicle it deserves in Brett Martin's "Difficult Men." This group portrait of the guys who made "The Sopranos," "Six Feet Under," "The Wire," "Deadwood," "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad" is a deeply reported, tough-minded, revelatory account of what goes on not just in the writers' room but in the writer's head--the thousand decisions fueled by genius, ego, instinct, and anger that lead to the making of a great TV show. Here, at last, is the reashow more