A Brief History of (Semi-) Autobiographical Television Shows

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04/11/2012 12:12 PM |


It’s tricky business, differentiating between TV shows that are autobiographical and TV shows that seem autobiographical, but are in fact mostly fiction. For instance, Bored to Death. The HBO series, about a writer named Jonathan Ames, seems like it came from experiences had by its creator, Jonathan Ames. But he’s said that the show is mostly invented—in his words, “It’s like I take beads from my life and put them on each of the characters’ necklaces.” Another Brooklyn-based HBO program, Lena Dunham’s Girls, about twentysomethings living in New York (more about that here), also necessitates putting the prefix “semi” before “autobiographical.” In honor of Girls, which premieres this Sunday, the 15th, and has been getting rave reviews, here are nine more good-to-great TV series based in reality.

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