Aaron Spelling: A Prime-Time Life

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9780312142681: Aaron Spelling: A Prime-Time Life

Provides a look into the rags-to-riches life of the Hollywood television producer who created such popular shows as Dynasty, The Love Boat, and Beverly Hills 90210.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

From The Mod Squad to Dynasty to Melrose Place, the world's most prolific producer tells his story, anecdote by anecdote by anecdote. If you sat down right now to watch every hour of the TV shows and movies that Aaron Spelling has produced, it would be a full 125 days later before you were finished. This is assuming, of course, that the human mind could safely survive such an extended dose of Spelling's wares: the endless parade of beautiful vixens and roguish millionaires, hipster PIs and ripe teenyboppers, pervasive pap and ubiquitous fluff. To his credit, Spelling is a modest man. He makes few grand claims for his oeuvre beyond that of entertainment (with an occasional gesture toward social consciousness). As you might expect from his shows, his own story goes from rags to riches. Fleeing pogroms, his parents ended up in Dallas, where the young Spelling struggled with anti-Semitic bullying and the shame of poverty. Books and movies were his only friends, and like many poor Jews of his generation, he believed that the entertainment industry offered a front-row ticket to success. Acting led to directing, which led to writing, then finally to producing. It was here that Spelling found his forte as he, along with various partners, produced an almost uninterrupted string of long-running hits. (It doesn't take a Freudian to realize that pervasive themes of many of these shows--wish-fulfillment, escapism, social acceptance--have strong autobiographical connections.) While Spelling (with USA Today TV reporter Graham) tells a lot of great showbiz stories, he dishes little dirt. In fact, he has almost nothing unkind to say about anyone. Problem actors, double-dealing executives, obstreperous writers--all are treated with a rare tact and courtliness. Perhaps, sometimes, nice guys don't finish last. Professionally done, with many enjoyable moments, but not quite an Emmy-winning performance. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

For a man who's tapped into the world's TV-viewing habits like no one else, mega-producer Spelling comes across as a surprisingly ordinary fellow in his autobiography. He makes producing "a smash hit a decade"?The Mod Squad, Dynasty and Melrose Place among them?look like happy and very lucrative accidents. The son of poor Eastern European Jews who settled in Dallas, Spelling grew up spinning yarns to fight redneck taunts, honing story skills that eventually led him through the early days of TV production and, in time, to realize his own Fantasy Island (another Spelling production) lifestyle. He portrays himself here with down-home graciousness?even if he jokes that he can't find his bedroom in his palatial mansion. He respectfully spares us the TV-star gossip and gives close friends and family members, like his loving wife, Candy, paragraphs for their own celebrity roast anecdotes. Such passages come off as padding, however, as do the lengthy excerpts from produced scripts Spelling wrote early in his career. If Spelling's writing works on the tube, it doesn't fly on the printed page. This tame memoir offers little in the way of character shading or social insight. The author answers critics who called Charlie's Angels "jiggle" with: "Haven't reporters ever been to the beach before?" Spelling has enjoyed a prime-time life, but his memoir is anything but. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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