Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution

This event took place on:
Thursday, July 18, 7:00 - 8:30pm
Difficult Men


Author Brett Martin joins KPCC's Steve Julian, host of Morning Edition, as they delve into the psyche of the infamous and entertaining figures of the new golden age of TV.

The late 1990s and early 2000s gave us premium cable shows like The Wire, The Sopranos, Mad Men, and The Shield. All of these shows are propelled by complicated men - who were created by similarly complicated people. Behind the scenes lived all-powerful male writers, show runners and auteurs as tortured, and sometimes as despotic, as the antiheroes they hung their plots on.

Combining deep reportage with cultural analysis and historical context, DIFFICULT MEN: BEHIND THE SCENES OF A CREATIVE REVOLUTION recounts the rise and inner workings of a genre that represents not only a new golden age for TV but also a cultural watershed. Author Brett Martin sat down with KPCC's Steve Julian, host of Morning Edition, to delve into the psyche of these infamous and entertaining figures. 

About the guest: Brett Martin has been reporting and writing nonfiction for more than fifteen years. He’s written for Vanity Fair, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Food and Wine, Details, Men’s Journal, and O: The Oprah Magazine; he’s also contributed several times to This American Life. Martin is currently a correspondent for GQ.

Books were available for purchase, courtesy of Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeehouse.


Leading up to this event, we hosted a Facebook poll asking people to vote for their favorite TV bad boy. Here are the results!

Donald Draper AMC's Mad Men

"What you call love was invented by guys like me, to sell nylons."

1st place with 36% of the vote.


Tony Soprano - HBO's The Sopranos

"I find I have to be the sad clown: laughing on the outside, crying on the inside."

2nd place with 29% of the vote.


Walter White - AMC's Breaking Bad

"A guy opens his door and gets shot, and you think that of me? No! I am the one who knocks!" 

3rd place with 14% of the vote.


Det. James 'Jimmy' McNulty - HBO's The Wire

"The lie's so big, people can live with it, I guess." 

Tied for 4th place with 7% of the vote.


Dexter Morgan - Showtime's Dexter

"Blood. Sometimes it sets my teeth on edge, other times it helps me control the chaos."

Tied for 4th place with 7% of the vote.


For more social media fun, check out KPCC's On-Screen Bad Boys Pinterest board!

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